2021 NFWF Coastal Resiliency (Dune Enhancement) Project

Project Updates

April 23, 2021: NFWF Schedule/Project Update! Construction progress had slowed in the last two weeks, however progress is still being made towards completion of the dune restoration project. The contractor will be finishing up the northern section of the project shortly and then will begin placing sand towards the south, starting at Aruba Drive once the north part of the project is complete. A detailed schedule is not available at this time, however the project will be finished by May 31. We greatly appreciate everyones patience to date.

March 24, 2021: NFWF Schedule/Project Update! The contractor is continuing to use Cape Palms Park access location for staging and sand stockpiling and the park remains closed to the public. The section between Aruba Dr. and R-93.5 is nearing completion and is expected to be finished by the end of the week. Sand is currently being placed along Haven Rd at R-94 and south of Summer House Ln. at R-92. The Contractor is expecting to finish the northern section (Aruba Dr. to Rish Park) within 2 weeks and then begin working at Aruba Drive and proceed south. Also, as a reminder if you haven't reached out to us and still have sand fencing on the beach in the shoreline areas between Aruba Drive and Scallop Cove convenience store area, now is the time to remove it to get the maximum amount of sand in front of your property.

March 16, 2021: NFWF Schedule/Project Update! The contractor is continuing to use Cape Palms Park access location for staging and sand stockpiling and the park remains closed to the public. Sand is currently being placed on the beach at 2 locations: 1) Around Tobago Dr and moving north, and 2) at Haven Rd near DEP R-Monument R-94 and moving south. The Contractor began grading and shaping the sand last week starting just north of Aruba Dr. and just south of Cape Palms Park. The contractor is anticipating completing the northern section (north of Aruba Drive to Rish Park) by next week. They will then begin working at Aruba Drive and further proceed south. Also, as a reminder if you have sand fencing on the beach in the shoreline areas between Aruba Drive and Scallop Cove conviencance store area, now is the time to remove it. to get the maximum amount of sand in front of your property.

NFWF Project - SAND FENCING REMINDER! Homeowners, please use the following images to determine if your sand fencing is within the limits of the dune restoration project. If so, please remove it as soon as possible so we can place sand and vegetation in front of your property! If you have questions or would like us to look at your specific property, please send us a message using the Contact Us form below. If you do not remove the sand fencing seaward of the existing dune, we can not place sand on your property. Sand fencing installed on or landward of the existing dunes will likely be okay and can remain. Boardwalks may not need to be removed, however it is recommended in order to get the most sand. The contractor will do their best to push sand up to and around the boardwalk, but may not be able to push sand under it.

Sand Fencing Removal Guidance | Cape San Blas, St. Joseph Peninsula, Florida, USASand Fencing Removal Guidance | Cape San Blas, St. Joseph Peninsula, Florida, USA

March 2, 2021: NFWF Project Update! The contractor is continuing to use the Cape Palms Park access location for staging and sand stockpiling. Work is currently being conducted in and around Tobago Drive, and moving north. The contractor will begin smoothing out the sand stock piles on the beach this week using a small bulldozer. The FAQ's have been tweaked to reflect the NFWF project. Also, as a reminder if you have sand fencing on the beach in the shoreline areas between Rish Park and Tobago drive, now is the time to remove it. to get the maximum amount of sand in front of your property.

March 1, 2021: Beacon Hill/St. Joe Beach Segment - FEMA Berm Dune Restoration Project Update! We have developed a seperate webpage for residents and homeowners located along the Beacon Hill and SJ Beach that will be impacted by the upcoming FEMA Berm (dune) project. The sidebar (to the right) contains the link to the site or alternatively you may click HERE.

February 26, 2021: Indian Peninsula Segment - FEMA Berm Dune Restoration Project Update! We have developed a seperate webpage for residents and homeowners located along Indian Peninsula that will be impacted by the upcoming FEMA Berm (dune) project. The sidebar (to the right) contains the link to the site or alternatively you may click HERE.

February 26, 2021: NFWF Dune Project Update! The project officially kicked off this past Wednesday, February 24, 2021 in the vicinity of R-97 (Aruba Drive). The contractor is currently utilizing the Cape Palms Park as the access point to the beach and is hauling stockpiled sand along the beach using offroad dump trucks. The contractor's current plan is to work north towards the north terminus of the project, which is the southern end of Billy J Rish park. Some questions have come in recently regarding, when is the contractor going to begin grading the sand? The answer is sometime next week. A small bulldozer will be utilized and the contractor will begin shaping the piles of sand located along the beach.

February 5, 2021: Schedule update! We are getting close to beginning construction of the NFWF Emergency Coastal Resilience Project. North Florida Construction, Inc. was awarded Bid No. 2021-05 and their tentative schedule will be to begin hauling and placing sand before the end of February. In preparation for the start of the project, please remove any boardwalks or sand fencing seaward of the existing dune in order to receive the maximum amount of sand. Boardwalks or sand fencing may be left in place, but may be buried or the contractor may elect not to fill if they are unable to access the template.

December 24, 2020: Gulf County is proud to announce that the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Emergency Coastal Resiliency (Dune Enhancement) Project is now out for bid. The proposed project is located along the gulf front beach of St. Joseph Peninsula, Gulf County, Florida. The project consists of the construction of a dune enhancement project between DEP Monuments R-89.6 and R-105.5 extending from the Stumphole revetment to the north for 3.1 miles (16,254 feet), which is roughly the southern limits of Billy J Rish Park. The project consists of the placement of clean white beach compatible sand obtained from the Honeyville Sand Mine in Wewahitchka, Florida totaling approximately 78,930 cubic yards. In addition, the project includes the installation of multiple native dune vegetation species totaling approximately 619,126 plants along the project shoreline. Bidding documents and the advertisement for the bid can be found at the following link on Gulf County's Website (Search for Bid #2021-05) Gulf County Bids.

September, 2020: Gulf County was officially awarded $3.7 million in grant dollars to restore three miles of shoreline on St. Joseph Peninsula through sand and vegetation restoration. The proposed project will provide coastal resilience by increasing the stability and longevity of the beach sand and encouraging additional dune growth through trapping windblown sand, increasing storm protection by limiting the damaging effects of storm surge, and promoting wildlife protection and increasing habitat. Additional details regarding the award and others from the Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund can be found at the following link on NFWF's website: NFWF Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund - 2020 Grant Slate.

History and Background

Hurricanes Michael and Florence, Typhoon Yutu, and the coastal wildfires of 2018 caused more than $50 billion in damage and severely degraded a range of wildlife habitats. Congress provided funding under the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2019 (P.L. 116-20), allowing grants to be awarded through a partnership between NFWF and NOAA. NFWF’s Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund was launched in August 2019, two months after Congress passed the emergency supplemental appropriations bill, to support natural and nature-based infrastructure that will help impacted communities and wildlife recover and be better prepared for future events.

Gulf County was officially awarded $3.7 million in grant dollars to restore three miles of shoreline on St. Joseph Peninsula through sand and vegetation restoration. The proposed project will provide coastal resilience by increasing the stability and longevity of the beach sand and encouraging additional dune growth through trapping windblown sand, increasing storm protection by limiting the damaging effects of storm surge, and promoting wildlife protection and increasing habitat. Additional details regarding the award and others from the Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund can be found at the following link on NFWF's website: NFWF Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund - 2020 Grant Slate.

Q: When will the project start?

A: Construction is currently underway.

Q: How long will the project go on?

A: Construction of the 2.9-mile dune restoration project that extends from Rish Park to roughly Stumphole will take approximately 3 months. This timeframe will depend on weather conditions, equipment issues and other external factors.

Q: Where will the project start?

A: Near R-97 (Aruba Drive) and progressing northward.

Q: How long will the construction be in front of my property?

A: How long it will take to construct a beach segment is dependent upon a number of factors, some of which are external, so we cannot predict the actual time. However, it can be expected that the project will advance down the beach at a rate of 100 to 500 feet per day. The advancement will include the dumping of sand from offroad dump trucks followed by construction equipment that will move and grade the beach. The rate of advancement will be dependent on any potential delays caused by inclement weather, equipment issues or the presence of an endangered species such as a sea turtle. Even though the active part of the project will move down the beach fairly quickly, there will be sections with equipment on the beach for most of the construction period.

Q: Will I be able to get onto the beach while the project is going on?

A: Yes, however it might mean that you will have to walk north or south of your property to access the beach, but you will always be able to get to the beach during construction. Pedestrian traffic may be prohibited in the 300- or 500-foot segment under “active construction”, but that would be a temporary situation for a relatively short period of time, and you can simply enjoy the beach north or south of the construction activity.

Q: Does the contractor work certain days of the week or certain hours of the day?

A: The dune restoration project is anticipated to be constructed on a Monday thru Friday (5-day) basis, during daylight hours only. The amount of construction activity will be dependent on any potential delays caused by inclement weather, equipment issues or the presence of an endangered species such as a sea turtle.

Q: Is the construction noisy?

A: YES. The beach will be an “active construction” site that will take place 5-days a week during daylight hours only. Offroad Dump-trucks, bulldozers, front-end loaders and other large pieces of equipment will be used in the construction of the beach project. You will be able to tell there is an “active construction” site in your area when the operations are near or seaward of your property.

Q: Will construction equipment and laborers be accessing the beach through our property?

A: NO. The limits of construction are from the top of the dune out into the Gulf of Mexico and the contractor is prohibited from going through your property without permission from the property owner. The contractor is allowed access to the beach at designated staging areas and beach accesses.

Q: Will I still be able to rent my home or condo during construction?

A: Yes. As with many other beach communities during construction of a beach project, rentals and owners still enjoy the beach and typical vacation activities during construction. However, it should be noted that some safety restrictions around the “active construction” site will limit access to the general public but, the beach will remain open. This will be a fast-moving project, so at this time we cannot predict where and when the crews will be working and, if it will impact your property during a given week. We will do our best to provide updates through this website as to where the crews are working and where beach access is temporarily restricted.

Q: Will I have to take my dune walkover down?

A: Not necessarily. It will depend whether or not the dune fronting your property has been eroded and will be restored during this project. Whether you remove your dune walkover before the project begins is up to you. When the contractor encounters any structure that is not removed (dune walkover, sand fencing, gazebos, etc.) they will only place sand up to and around it. If you leave a structure intact and the contractor places sand around it, it may not be as much sand as your property would have received if you had removed it. If you wish to remove and then reinstall your boardwalk or other structure, we suggest you check with the individual who constructed them for the best way to remove and perhaps reinstall them after construction.

Q: Will I have to get a permit to rebuild my gazebo or boardwalk that was destroyed in past storms?

A: Any activity on the beach and dune requires a permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). However, the type of permit you need will depend on the size and type of structure. For walkovers that meet certain DEP criteria, a field permit may be issued. For other structures, such as gazebos, you may need to apply for and obtain a Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL) permit from DEP.

It is extremely important that you do not begin construction of any boardwalk or other structure without obtaining the necessary permitting to do so.

The DEP CCCL Permit Manager for Gulf County is:

Ronard Ivey, Environmental Specialist II
Ronard.E.Ivey@dep.state.fl.us
850-245-7591

You can view the Sand Fence Guidelines and Dune Walkover Guidelines here. Link

Q: Will I have to plant sea oats myself?

A: NO. As part of the dune restoration project, the replanting of the dunes will be undertaken shortly after construction. There are four different native species of plants proposed for this project and the species were selected after consulting the local US Fish and Wildlife Office. The following species will be planted (depending on nursery availability): Sea Oats, Bitter/Beach-Panicum, Beach Elder, and Gulf Bluestem.

Construction Drawings For the 2021 NFWF Coastal Resiliency (Dune Enhancement) Project

Provided below are images of the plans that will be utilized for Construction. The plans provide details as to the proposed widths and profile shape along the proposed project. Please note the provided plans are being provided for review only.

Contact Us

If you have a specific question not addressed in the FAQ's, please feel free to send us a message. Typcial response times are between 24 and 48 hours during business hours.