Protesters propose resolutions to Brevard County beach renourishment

Save The Mid-Reach supporters address Satellite Beach City Hall

By James Sparvero - Reporter

SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. - Organizers with a group protesting Brevard County beach renourishment projects are presenting three resolutions to Satellite Beach City Council members that, supporters say, will protect beaches and a coastline natural reef.

Save the Mid-Reach wants the Satellite Beach City Council to independently test and monitor beach projects, create more education about protecting the reef and formally announce that the city does not support widening the beach. 

An $8 million 20-mile replenishment project continues six months after Hurricane Irma.
Matt Fleming, of Save the Mid-Reach, says the work is a waste of money.

"People want to know: Why is it dirt and not sand?" Fleming said. "I thought, 'This has been going on for 12 years. Something needs to be done.'"

Fleming said beach renourishment projects since the 2004 hurricanes made the ocean brown and created sandbars that smother the coastline's natural reef.

"They're going to widen the whole beach out and bury the natural reef," Fleming said of upcoming projects.

The county said restoring beaches protects tourism and that, without it, essentially,  beachgoers will disappear like the sand.

The county said the silt in the replacement sand meets the minimum state standards for restoring dunes, and the city of Satellite Beach takes the county at its word.

"It is our only alternative at this point to seawalls," said City Manager Courtney Barker.

She said the work being done is backed by over a decade of scientific research and is being conducted in the best interest of protecting the environment.

"Current rhetoric from Save the Mid-Reach, that beach renourishment is polluting the beach, we do not agree with," Barker said.

Nevertheless, Fleming said, the group is 100 percent confident it will get results.

"The whole community wants to see something better for the beach. Everyone will be united behind a plan that protects the reef, protects the beach and addresses the concerns about erosion," Fleming said.

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