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Beach Restoration - 06/15/02

Broward County has a plan to restore beaches south of Deerfield Beach using "our" sand.

Most of our readers are aware of the controversial plan by Broward County to widen beaches to the south of Deerfield. They intend to take sand from offshore burrows for this project. One of the burrows is located off Deerfield Beach.

Our beach is protected by a unique groin system which uses the reserves of sand located in the burrow. City officials fear that the project will jeopardize the process of self-restoration that has worked so well for Deerfield Beach for decades.

One of the reasons why we have this wide beach now in Deerfield Beach are the groins which were put into place 40 years ago. Huge piles of coral rock (mostly buried now under sand), anchor the groin networks located about 100 feet apart along the whole length of the beach front. The sand practically takes care of itself. But a lot of this sand comes from the offshore burrow.

Environmentalists also oppose the project because they say new sand will cover and endanger some of the delicate coral reef systems that run parallel to the South Florida coast. The federal agency that oversees marine fisheries has expressed similar concerns and has delayed the project at the federal level.

Readers who want to learn more about the environmental issues associated with the beach restoration project should check out cryofthewater.org, which has everything you ever wanted to know about the county plan and some good pictures of the coral reefs just off our coast.



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