Thirteen years ago, after much controversy, the Flagler Beach City Commission banned bonfires on the beach during turtle season. Beverly Beach and Marineland have similar bans. But it was only on Monday that the ban extended to the rest of the county’s beaches–18 miles of shoreline in all–as the County Commission voted 5-0 to approve an ordinance.
As water temperatures spiked in the Florida Keys, scientists from universities, coral reef restoration groups and government agencies launched a heroic effort to save the corals. Divers have been in the water every day, collecting thousands of corals from ocean nurseries along the Florida Keys reef tract and moving them to cooler water and into giant tanks on land.
In what one of the designers of Flagler Beach’s new pier described as “a big milestone in the federal regulatory process,” the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued notice that it is reviewing the permit application for the new pier, and soliciting public comment about detailed construction plans that had not been disclosed until now.
Florida requires a descending device and/or venting tool be rigged and ready for use when fishing for reef fish from a vessel in state waters (within 3 nautical miles on the Atlantic and 9 nautical miles on the Gulf).
For the second time in only 10 weeks, a rarely seen whale beached on Flagler County’s sands and was put down hours later before it was to be removed from the surf and transported by truck to Orlando’s SeaWorld for a necropsy.
The state Department of Transportation’s much-anticipated plan to protect State Road A1A will mostly rely on existing plans by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rebuild 2.6 miles of beach and dunes south of the pier, plans by Flagler County to rebuild beaches north and south of that stretch, and a DOT secant wall along the shore straddling the Flagler-Volusia county line.
A string of articles from local and national outlets have linked wind development and dead whales over the past several months, but there is no evidence linking the two. On the other hand, there has been an increase in whale deaths linked to shipping strikes.
The Flagler County Commission this morning ratified the final agreement clearing the way for a historic dune-rebuilding project on 2.6 miles of shoreline in Flagler Beach, starting in April 2024–almost a quarter century after the federal government started considering the stretch for long-term safeguarding from erosion and rising seas.
Some 150 people, including numerous Flagler Beach and county officials, turned out to see the state Department of Transportation’s four options to more permanently strengthen State Road A1A, with sea walls taking precedence over dune rebuilding. But a combination of the four options is likely ahead.
While Flagler County was spared the brunt of Hurricane Ian’s fury, its shoreline was ravaged, and what remained of its already battered dunes and rock revetments sacrificed themselves to protect A1A and properties. There is no more protection should another storm strike. The disappearance of the dunes is stunning in Flagler Beach north of the pier, and in many other places along the 18 miles of beach.