2022 Gulf County FEMA Berms - St. Joseph Peninsula Segment

Project Updates

January 11, 2023 Project Update!: Construction continues to progress smoothly from the north end of the project heading south. The current location of the active work zone is located around the southern part of the Barrier Dunes Condos at roughly R-79. Roughly 2,100 feet has been constructed on the northern portion of the project between R-77 and R-79 (Sapodilla Circle to Sand Pine Drive.) The project is approximately 30% complete currently.

December 20, 2022 Project Update!: Construction has continued to progress smoothly from the north end of the project heading south. The current location of the active work zone is located around the Barrier Dunes Condos at roughly R-78. Roughly 750 feet of dune has been constructed on the southern portion of the project near Rish Park (R-85), and roughly 1,000 feet has been constructed on the northern portion of the project between R-77 and R-78 (Sapodilla Circle to Seacliff Drive.) Construction activities are expected to temporarily cease near the end of this week for the Christmas Holiday and will resume after the New Year.

December 2, 2022 Project Update!: North Florida Construction started construction a couple of days before the Thanksgiving Holiday. The contractor has additionally changed their construction methodology and is now constructing on both ends of the project. Sand placement activities are currently progressing from the northern boundary of Billy J Rish Park (~R-85) towards Dunes Drive. Additionally, they have placed sand near the northern project limits at R-77. Where the contractor places sand is being dictated by the number of trucks available to haul sand from the mine and is likely to fluctuate over the next couple of weeks.

Additionally, there has been some concern regarding the color of the sand being brought to the project site. We are acutely aware of the darker colored sand being brought to the beach which is a result of the sand being wet. Our team has been sampling and comparing it to the native beach as truck loads come to the beach. Additionally, our inspectors have been taking samples and drying them to bake off the moisture, and the dried samples are similar in color to the native beach. A picture taken from our inspectors comparing the dried sand to the native beach is provided below. There is little difference in color between the two once the trucked in sand has been dried. As more sand is brought in, we will continue to be vigilant and monitor the imported sand.

Gulf County FEMA Berm Project - St. Joseph Peninsula Beach Segment, Florida, USA

November 14, 2022 Schedule Update!: North Florida Construction is set to begin mobilizing to the Dunes Drive area this week to begin site work and construction of the sand transfer area. Sand hauling to the site is set to begin shortly there after and will continue throughout the duration of the project. We still anticipate the contractor to begin on the northern side of the project limits near R-77 and work their way south.

November 3, 2022 Project & Schedule Update!: The image below provides a depiction of where the project will start and the overall direction construction will proceed. The shoreline segment between the State Park Boundary and R-77 (Secluded Dunes Drive area) is not included in this project. Unfortunately, this section of shoreline did not meet the elegibility requirements imposed by FEMA to qualify for public assistance grant funding for the FEMA berm. Additionally, the contractor has indicated that they intend to start within the next two to three weeks as they begin mobilizng their equipment to the site.

Gulf County FEMA Berm Project - St. Joseph Peninsula Beach Segment, Florida, USA

October 21, 2022 Project & Schedule Update!: The contractor, North Florida Construction Inc., has provided us with an update regarding their proposed start up and commencement of the project. The contractor's current schedule, subject to change, has them beginning to stage and prepare the site around the first week of November. Additionally, they intend to start hauling and shaping sand on the north end of the project near R-77 (close to the southern boundary of the State Park/Barrier Dunes/Sea Cliff.) They will progress southward from there, back towards the beach access location. There will be a significant amount of truck traffic on the beach between the Dunes Drive Beach access and the northern portion of the project. Additionally, as a reminder to all property owners, please remove all existing sand fencing prior to the project starting up.

October 20, 2022 Project Update!: North Florida Construction has been awarded the contract to construct the Gulf County FEMA Berm - St. Joseph Peninsula segment project. Details as to where the contractor will begin construction on the Peninsula will be forthcoming shortly. The contractor has indicated that they intend to begin construction sometime in the beginning of this November after the conclusion of the Marine Turtle nesting season. Staging activities and sand transfer will occur at the Dunes Drive beach access throughout the duration of the project. Visitors to the beach access can expect disruptions during construction activities. The project is estimated at this point to take close to four months to complete.

SAND FENCING GUIDANCE! Homeowners, please remove any Sand Fencing installed seaward of the dune as soon as possible so we can place sand and vegetation in front of your property! 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. 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. Construction is estimated to start this coming November, 2022.

August 26, 2022: Construction/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.

July 19, 2022: Gulf County is proud to announce that the FEMA Emergency Berm (Dune Enhancement) Project is now out for bid. The project consists of the construction of a dune project along the gulf front beaches of St. Joseph Peninsula, Gulf County, Florida, specifically between DEP Monuments R-77 and R-85.5 for approximately 8,750 linear feet (1.66 miles) of shoreline for a total template volume of 97,091 cubic yards (cy) of sand and 288,600 native dune plantings. The clean white beach compatible sand will be obtained from the Honeyville Sand Mine in Wewahitchka, Florida. 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 St. Joseph Peninsula 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 St. Joseph Peninsula segment, measures 9,100 linear feet, and is located along St. Joseph Peninsula, south of the T.H. Stone Memorial State Park, from the R-77 (29.7531, -85.4007) to R-85.5 (29.730, -85.393).

Q: When will the project start?

A: Construction is anticipated to begin around November/December of 2022.

Q: How long will the project go on?

A: Construction of the 1.7-mile dune restoration project that extends from DEP Reference Monument R-77 (Maui Lane) to the northern park boundary of the William J Rish State park (R-85.5) will take approximately 4 months to construct. 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 dune 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 dune 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 to the mean high water line 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 take my sand fencing down?

A: Yes. Our permits require us to remove any sand fencing prior to any sand being placed within the construction template and prohibit us from burying any fencing. Any sand fencing that is not removed may result in your property being skipped. The contractor may attempt to remove the sand fencing prior to any sand placement, but under no circumastances are we allowed to bury any sand fencing. Please remove any sand fencing you may have installed prior to the beginning of the project.

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 2022 Gulf County Fema Berm/Dune Restoration Project - St. Joseph Peninsula 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.

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.