2021/22 Gulf County FEMA Berms - Beacon Hill/St. Joe Beach Segment

Project Updates

October 31, 2022 Construction Complete!: Construction activities have officially concluded and the contractor has demobilized from the site. Dune vegetation was installed last week and this act officially concludes the construction of the St. Joe Beach/Beacon Hill Segment. For those homeowners that woud like to install sand fencing, please remember the State of Florida requires a permit to install any sand fencing seaward of the Coastal Construction Control Line. Please reference the information listed at the link below on the Florida Department of Environmental Protections website. FDEP Sand Fencing Guidelines

October 20, 2022 Project Update!: Construction activities will be wrapping up by the end of the week as the contractor has been busy placing sand southeast of the Selma Creek outfall. Dune vegetation has been installed for the majority of the project and construction activities will cease sometime next week as the contractor will begin cleaning up the site and restoring areas used for staging and sand transfer.

September 20, 2022 Project Update!: Construction activities resumed several weeks ago and the contractor has been making steady progress to the north. They are currently placing and shaping sand in the vicinity of Ward street (R-9). They are currently planning to tie into the northern section's work near Sea Shore's Drive (R-7) within the next two weeks. After that they will proceed to work to the south of the creek near Selma Street where they are currently staged and transferring sand from on-road to offroad dump trucks. Construction is estimated to complete around the end of October.

August 22, 2022 Project Update!: Progress has stalled due to the recent rains and unforeseen mechanical issues that have limited the sand supply temporarily. The contractor is expecting to resume construction activities next week and the project completion date has been pushed back into November. Additionally, the contractor has mobilized to a new staging area near Selma Street roughly around R-13. Currently the berm has been completed from the County line to roughly R-7, or roughly half the project. The contractor intends to progress northwestward from the new staging area towards R-7 where they previously left off. Native dune vegtation has been installed on the first portion of the berm between the County line and the Beacon Hill/Veterans Park.

July 21, 2022 Project Update!: The contractor continues to make progress towards the southeast from the Bay/Gulf County line and is currently working in the vicinity of Beacon Road near DEP Monument R-5. Overall progress has slowed recently and the contractor continues to work towards completing the project. Several marine turtles have nested within the project limits and these nests are being avoided until the all clear has been given by our environmental monitors. The contractor will then fill in those areas at that time.

July 6, 2022 Schedule/Project Update!: The contractor continues to make substantial progress and is currently working in the vicinity of the Beacon Hill/Veterans Park area near DEP Monument R-4. They will continue progressing to the southeast and have complete roughly a quarter of the project. They are currently using the staging area near the Bay/Gulf County line and will continue to do so for the near future. Construction activities are estimated to be complete near the end of September/beginning of October, 2022.

June 10, 2022 Notice! Existing Vegetation and Boardwalks: The proposed dune will be constructed within existing vegetation that has since grown back from Hurricane Michael's destruction. The proposed dune location was the recommended location by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's agency review during the permitting process to help establish the dune system back to its prior location, pre-Hurricane Michael. The proposed dune will be replanted with four different native species consisting of Sea Oats, Bitter/Beach Panic Grass, Beach Elder, and Gulf Bluestem. In addition to the proposed vegetation, the existing vegetation that will be buried are expected to emerge through the proposed dune. The existing vegetation is typically comprised of Sea Oats and Panic Grass and will provide additional stabilization for the dune. An edited image is provided below highlighting an example location of the proposed dune and some quick facts regarding it. Any areas disturbed by the contractor will be revegetated.

Gulf County FEMA Berm Project - St. Joe Beach Segment | Beacon Hill, Florida, USA

Existing Boardwalks: Existing Boardwalks do not need to be removed. Pink survey flagging has been placed in the location of the proposed dune along the western part of the project by the project surveyor, Dewberry Engineers, Inc. The survey flagging shows the approximate landward and seaward limits of the proposed dune. The contractor will place sand next to existing boardwalks. Sand will likely sluff under the boardwalk naturally, eliminating the need to remove the boardwalk. The proposed dune will be anywhere between two to five (2-5) feet above the existing ground depending on the location.

June 3, 2022 Schedule/Project Update!: Inland Construction has mobilized to the site and has commenced construction on the northwestern portion of the project near the Bay/Gulf County line. They will be utilizing the County park near HWY 386 as the primary staging point and sand transfer location and will generally progress southeast towards the Veteran’s/Beacon Hill Park. At some point in the future, the contractor may move the staging area and sand transfer area to the southeastern end of the poject near Pine street and then proceed northwesterly. Construction activities are expected to conclude on or about September 30th, weather dependent.

May 25, 2022 Schedule/Project Update!: Inland Construction has majorly wrapped up construction on the Indian Peninsula segment of the project and has estimated that work on the St. Joe Beach/Beacon Hill segment could begin sometime after the Memorial Day Holiday. Mobilization efforts are to begin within the next couple of days near the northwestern end of the project area in the vicinity of the County park, near the Bay County/Gulf County border. The contractor has stated that they plan to start on the northwestern end of the project (Near HWY 386 and HWY 98) and proceed in a southeasterly direction initially. This proposed methodology may change over time. Additionally, survey crews will be on the beach over the coming week collecting topographic data and surveying the location of boardwalks that may need to be removed within the footprint of the proposed dune. Once we receive the results of the survey, additional information will be provided on this website, if necessary, regarding any boardwalks that may need to be removed.

April 22, 2022 Schedule/Project Update!: Inland Construction is wrapping up construction on the Indian Peninsula segment of the project and has estimated that work on the St. Joe Beach/Beacon Hill segment could begin around the first week of June. Details as to where the project will start and the sequencing are yet to be determined. As we get closer to construction activities starting up, more updates will be published. The project is currently anticipated to take approximately three to four months to complete.

October 1, 2021: Gulf County has selected Inland Construction and Engineering to complete the Beacon Hill shoreline segment. The project will begin upon the succesful completion of the Indian Pass segment, which is estimated to take four (4) months to complete and is starting in Mid-October, 2021. This infers that the Beacon Hill segment will begin construction around March 2022, and is subject to change.

June 28, 2021: Permits for the Beacon Hill Project can be accessed below and more details will be provided shortly with an update to the project schedule.

February 26, 2021: Bidding plans for review can be found at the link HERE. More details will be provided shortly. Please feel free to visit the FAQ's as they have been updated to reflect this particular project or reach out to us using the Contact form at the bottom of this site.

February 26, 2021: Gulf County is proud to announce that the FEMA Emergency Berm (Dune Enhancement) Project is now out for bid. The proposed project is located along the gulf front beach of Indian Peninsula and Beacon Hill/St Joe Beach, Gulf County, Florida. The project consists of the placement of clean white beach compatible sand obtained from the Honeyville Sand Mine in Wewahitchka, Florida. In addition, the project includes the installation of multiple native dune vegetation species. Bidding documents and the advertisement for the bid can be found at the following link on Gulf County's Website (Search for Bid #2021-13) Gulf County Bids.


Permits for the Beacon Hill Project can be downloaded below.

History and Background

Hurricane Michael impacted Florida between October 7, 2018 and October 19, 2018, bringing strong winds, storm surge, and flooding. President Trump signed a disaster declaration (FEMA-4399-DR-FL) on October 11, 2018 authorizing the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide federal assistance to the designated areas of Florida. This assistance is provided pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act), and Public Law (PL) 93-288, as amended. Section 403 of the Stafford Act authorizes FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) Program to provide assistance essential to meeting immediate threats to life and property resulting from a major disaster. The coast of Gulf County was damaged via storm surge and erosion incurred during Hurricane Michael in October 2018.

Gulf County, Florida was designated as a county eligible to receive federal assistance. Gulf County has applied through the PA Program to receive funding to restore the eroded coastal dune system and install beach berms (dunes) in Gulf County. Two of the shoreline segments (St. Joe Beach and Indian Pass) are natural beaches and one (St. Joseph Peninsula) is an engineered beach previously authorized for nourishment and maintenance by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP)

This project is located in Gulf County, Florida along the northern Gulf of Mexico Coast. The Beacon Hill/St. Joe Beach segment, measures 16,100 linear feet, and is located south of US Highway 98, from the Bay/Gulf County Line west of R-1 (29.9247, -85.3887) to R-15 (29.8904, -85.3571).

Q: When will the project start?

A: Construction is anticipated to begin around March of 2022. Gulf County has selected Inland Construction and Engineering to construct the project.

Q: How long will the project go on?

A: Construction of the 1.9-mile dune restoration project that extends from the Bay/Gulf County line to roughly the eastern end of St. Joe Beach will take approximately 3 months. This project will continue from the eastern end of the Mexico Beach FEMA Berms (Dunes) built in 2019. The construciton timeframe will depend on weather conditions, equipment issues and other external factors.

Q: Where will the project start?

A: We can not say with any certainty where the contractor will begin construction until we get closer to the start of Construction.

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 beach restoration project is anticipated to be constructed on a 7-days a week 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 7-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, 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

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 Gulf County Fema Berm/Dune Restoration Project - Beacon Hill/St. Joe Beach Segment

Provided below are images of the plans that will be utilized for bidding. The plans provide details as to the proposed widths and profile shape along the proposed project. Please note the provided plans are not valid for construction without being signed and sealed and are being provided for review only.

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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.