There are joys and perils of living on a barrier island. A healthy dune system may help reduce beach erosion, but the risk from storm surge along the Intracoastal is ever present. Wind and flood insurance issues need to be linked with regional approaches to storm surge and flood protection. All of these issues represent top priorities for the Coalition.
Hurricane Sandy caused spotty but serious damage to local barrier island beaches, dunes, and seawalls. Primarily on behalf of private property owners, the Coalition is involved in measures to obtain emergency relief--or to develop contingency plans for future "Sandy-like" storms that do not qualify for Federal or State recovery funding. Most of our current efforts have centered upon repair of dunes on the north end of the Delray beach, an area that transitions from public beaches to private property. We are dealing directly with governmental authorities at all levels on behalf of residents (and elected officials) who are simply unable to break through a maze of red tape and regulations. Through direct contact with the Governor and Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, private citizens have demonstrated an ability to unlock "rules" that do not conform with remedies for actual problems caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Dealing with beach erosion is extremely complex, and regardless of chosen tactics, very expensive. While each coastal community has its own set of unique challenges in protecting its shoreline, the collective impact of healthy beaches, dunes, and man-made storm impact systems, represents an irreplaceable economic asset to Palm Beach County and all of South Florida. Our property tax base depends upon the recreational and residential value of land near the oceanfront.
The Coalition is helping to form a consortium of citizen-based associations representing all communities fronting Palm Beach County's roughly 45 miles of shoreline. At this point, seven respected organizations, representing thousands of coastal community residents, have come together. Please click here to learn more The objective is to coalesce years of experience in dealing with beach issues into more coordinated planning and funding initiatives. Some of these efforts commenced before Hurricane Sandy.
Every property owner in Palm Beach County benefits from a healthy ocean front, whether they live on or near the beach, or miles to the west. We cannot stop rising sea levels nor occasional tropical storms, but we can take steps to minimize the risks and maintain our property as livable, valuable and insurable. The Coalition will do its part in this endeavor.