South Ponte Vedra Beach

and Vilano Beach

South Ponte Vedra-Vilano Beach
Restoration Association, Inc.

Frequently Asked Questions Page (FAQ's)

We hope that the following questions and answers will help you understand the reason that South Ponte Vedra-Vilano Beach Restoration Association, Inc. was formed. . 

Each of the categorized questions has one or more detailed questions and answers to further explain the specific process of our beach restoration. You can always click on "Main" to start back at the original categories.

What does a beach restoration project involve?
  1. What is the first step in a beach restoration project?
    The first step is a feasibility study, which is now underway and proceeding on schedule. That is followed by definition of the MSBU, development of cost estimates and the cost-sharing formula for property owners, formation of the MSBU, establishment of the funding, final geotechnical investigation, final engineering design and permitting, and finally the beach restoration. The beach restoration must be scheduled to comply with various environmental constraints, including weather seasons and coastal wildlife seasons. Following the restoration, a monitoring and maintenance plan will be established.

    The Florida DEP defines standard work plans, technical specifications, and permit requirements for the engineering of coastal erosion control projects. The major engineering steps include Feasibility Study, Design and Permitting, Construction, and Monitoring.

    The Feasibility Study develops an understanding of the coastal processes affecting the project area and determines the feasibility and extent of improvements necessary to restore the beach, usually involving beach restoration. Beach restoration generally involves extending the beach through a process of dredging sand and returning it to the beach. St Johns County selected PBS&J as the engineering firm for the Feasibility Study. So far, only the Feasibility Study is funded.

    Upon completion of the Feasibility Study, the detailed Geotechnical Investigation (sand search) and detailed Design and Permitting are next. The minimum duration for these tasks is 18 months and they could take longer. Once completed and permits are approved, contractor selection and project construction can begin.

    Once implemented, the project will become an ongoing process which will include monitoring and usually also includes maintenance (adding additional sand) every 5 to 7 years to maintain the beach.

    The Schedule below, which illustrates the earliest construction could begin, should be considered notional only, since delays are inevitable and funding for tasks beyond the Feasibility Study has not been identified.

    2008 2009 2010 2011
    Feasibility Study January - December
    Final Geotechnical Investigation November-December January-September
    Final Design and Permitting November-December January-December January-June
    Bid Package Prep and Contractor Selection July-December
    Project Construction June-December January-July

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  2. What is the Feasibility Study?
    The purpose of the study is to provide a clear understanding of the coastal processes affecting the project area (from the northern end of South Ponte Vedra Beach to St Augustine Inlet) and to recommend a practical shore stabilization solution. Key elements of the study include:

    • Collect and organize historical and current data.
    • Evaluate public access criteria for potential cost sharing.
    • Examine influence and impact of St Augustine Inlet and Porpoise Point.
    • Examine implications of increased armoring structures within the project area.
    • Identify potential borrow source material (e.g., offshore sand reserves) with beach compatible material
    • Consider individual project reaches versus one large project area.
    • Compare estimated costs with associated benefits and identify potential funding sources.
    • Determine funding eligibility through state and federal programs.
    • Coordinate with state and federal agencies on preferred stabilization solutions.
    • Assist the County in evaluating potential local funding sources (e.g., special assessments, municipal benefit service unit (MSBU).

    The study will result in presentation and evaluation of alternative shoreline stabilization solutions as well as a recommended project design and probable costs. The alternative solutions might include emergency sand replenishment, beach restoration, improvements to Inlet jetties, no action, and others. Each alternative will be evaluated for longevity, cost sharing eligibility, performance, environmental impacts and permitting constraints, and shore protection value. Workshops to present and explain the results will be scheduled in the coming months, , so please watch for announcements of these events. In parallel with the engineering project, we are working with the County to establish the MSBU for financing the project. The Feasibility Study results will be needed before the boundary of the MSBU can be determined. The probable costs will then be used to estimate the individual property owner’s annual expense; the exact amount will be adjusted as the project costs become more exact. Subsequently, property owners in the area benefiting from beach restoration will be voting to establish the MSBU.

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