Navarre Beach is getting a little love as workers get started on a three-month renourishment project, the first since the beach’s last restoration in 2006.
Over the past few weeks, workers from Weeks Marine have brought equipment on site, completed shorebird and seabird surveys, and deployed two submerged pipelines from a staging area in Pensacola Bay to landing points near the Beach Colony Resort and just east of Missouri Street. Dredging could start this week.
Approximately 1.6 million cubic yards of sand will be placed from just east of the Gulf Islands National Seashore to the eastern limits of the Navarre Beach Marine Park, increasing the width of the beach berm by 100 to 200 feet. The restoration project also includes restoring the dune crest to a width of 30 feet and placement of native dune plants.
Two trailing suction hopper dredges will be used to excavate sand from same offshore borrow area used for the 2006 restoration project. The process is expected to produce some temporary cloudiness in the water, but officials said that conditions will be closely monitored and if the water get too cloudy, construction will be temporarily suspended and modified to meet permitted amounts. Turtle monitoring will begin on May 1 and any nests will be relocated to the Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Renourishment operations will run 24 hours a day, officials said, noting that up to a 1,000-foot long area of the beach may closed to the public at any given time. Sand placement should take about 50 days, with completion of the project expected by mid-June.