Volusia flood barriers set to be removed due to sea turtle nesting season

Tiger Dams set to be taken down by May 1

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Several flood barriers in Volusia County are scheduled to be taken down as sea turtle nesting season begins, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

In November, the state started installing a pilot system on the beach in Daytona Beach Shores using a system called a Tiger Dam. The project was aimed at creating a barrier to guard the dunes from the tides in an attempt to push back against dune erosion along the coastline.

However, with sea turtle nesting season soon beginning, FDEM announced that the dams would need to be removed by May 1 to comply with federal regulations and avoid impacting nesting habitats.

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In their place, sand-filled trap bags are expected to be installed, as the rules allow them to stay in place throughout the nesting season, FDEM officials added.

According to FDEM, residents will still be able to conduct debris removal and other work landward of their personal flood barriers, and any work begun prior to May 1 may continue as long as there are no turtle nests in the project area.

FDEM officials said that those without personal flood barriers can conduct debris removal without a permit as long as there is no heavy equipment on the beach and they:

  • use existing beach access
  • separate sand from debris and keep sand onsite
  • do not excavate or damage dunes or dune vegetation
  • avoid sea turtles, nests and hatchlings

Austin Beeghly with the FDEM said crews will work to install the trap bags beginning on Saturday.

“All of the locals are very familiar with the turtle season: when it starts, when it ends and the importance,” Beeghly said.

Steve and Patty Thompson have a vacation home in Daytona Beach Shores. The couple said hurricane-related repairs still need to be completed along the coastline.

“I’ve talked with one of my neighbors. He says south of here, they’ve repaired a lot of the ramps and beach access,” Steve Thompson said. “This is one or two left, and this is one of them they haven’t got to yet.”

“I think it’s important. I mean, the turtles are out there and have to come in to near, and if they can’t get into the dune to do their nesting, then what do they do?” Patty Thompson said.

Removal of the flood barriers is set to begin in April in order for the project to be completed by May 1.

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.