Despite warnings that paying the county could become a habit, the town council Tuesday approved paying Palm Beach County up to $72,400 for dune restoration between the south end of Carlin Park to the Jupiter Reef Club.
“No other community has dunes like we have. We are facing high costs. The county has always paid for this. I don’t want this to be a recurring thing,” said Vice Mayor Jim Kuretski, who along with Councilman Ilan Kaufer dissented in the 3-2 vote.
Local communities can expect to be be asked in the future to contribute to dune restoration, said Dan Bates, deputy director of the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management.
“The state and federal money that traditionally paid for dune restoration is drying up,” Bates said.
The restoration, which is scheduled for two weeks in February, calls for trucking in about 10,000 cubic yards of sand from a mine in Fort Pierce and planting about 15,000 native dune plants. Sand from the same mine was used this past year to renourish the beach north and south of the Jupiter Civic Center.
One of the off-loading spots for the sand will be at Ocean Cay Park, just south of Marcinski Road. Trucks will bring the sand to A1A and bulldozers will spread it on the beach.
The work must be completed by March 1, the start of sea turtle nesting season.
Dune restoration is not the same as beach renourishment. Beach renourishment is dumping sand on the shore closest to the Atlantic Ocean to build up and widen the beach. Dune restoration is building up the dunes and planting native plants such as sea oats to hold the dunes in place, Bates said.
“Beach renourishment is done on a regular basis and can be planned. Dune restoration usually is required after damage from a storm,” he said.
Work will be conducted during daylight hours between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. A1A and the beach will remain open during construction, but the pedestrian sidewalk will be closed during construction.
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