Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Beach Restoration at the St Andrews State Park

Please scroll down for updates

Working 24 x 7, it's very exciting to watch as workers widen the kiddie pool beach area in St Andrews State Park which is now open for all to enjoy! Next, according to one bulldozer driver, is beach restoration along the Gulf. Below are photos which include a couple of short videos.

April 10, 2015

April 11, 2015

April 12, 2015

Found a few shells

Folks collecting seashells

AND THE NEXT DAY April 13, 2015

April 14, 2015

A couple of the hardworking Drivers

Lunchtime and after work collections :)
PS See my I Dig the Beach blog

As promised, they are restoring the Gulf side beach now and here's a video from yesterday along with more photos.

Met up with the 2 three men crews who work 12 hr shifts 24x7 at shift change. They are doing a great job and will be done by the end of the month. Granddaughter Lauren went with me today to check it out :)


Deeper waters: Army Corps dredging shipping channel

By VALERIE GARMAN | News Herald Writer | Twitter: @ValerieGarman
Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 19:16 PM.

PANAMA CITY — A regular maintenance project to deepen Port Panama City’s shipping channel is underway a bit sooner than expected.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting dredge work to correct several shallow areas of the channel, which guides ships through St. Andrew Pass and into St. Andrew Bay from the Gulf waters near St. Andrews State Park.

“The port was starting to get impacted,” said Corps site manager Waylon Register. “We tried to respond as quickly as we could to get the channel back to the full project depth.”

The $1.25 million project calls for the removal of about 200,000 yards of sand from the channel, which will be used to restore a portion of eroded beach at the state park.

Register said the channel fills in through a natural process called “shoaling” and is dredged about every two years — more often if a major storm affects the area. This time around, he said, sand buildup needed to be addressed sooner than usual.

The project calls for the channel to be at least 38 feet deep to accommodate ships calling the port, and the Corps dredges to about 40 to 42 feet during maintenance. Depending on the weather conditions, the Corps expects to complete the project in one to two weeks, with fresh sand at St. Andrews State Park just in time to welcome summer visitors.

“If you’ve been down there lately, you’ll notice there is a cliff,” Register said of the state park beach, which erodes more quickly than most because the jetties block the natural migration of sand down the shore. Instead, the sand builds up on Shell Island to the east.

“We’re mimicking what nature would be doing if the jetty (weren’t) there,” he said.

Port Director Wayne Stubbs said he was pleased with the Army Corps’ quick response to the issue, which diverted just one ship before port officials could notify customers about the shallow areas. The affected ship headed to New Orleans to unload some cargo and returned to Panama City with less of a depth requirement.

“The good news is the Corps was able to move their schedule around in order to get a dredge in here,” Stubbs said. “That limitation is only going to be in effect for about six weeks. As soon as they’re finished, we’ll be back to normal.”

Copyright © 2015 — All rights reserved. Restricted use only.


Army Corps of Engineers Dredging the Pass and Renourishing Beach

Updated: Thu 10:39 PM, Apr 23, 2015

ST. ANDREWS STATE PARK-- Tourist season is ramping up at St. Andrews State Park. You may have noticed the dredger in the Pass whenever the weather cooperates; the surf has to be under a few feet and there can't be stormy conditions.

According to Park Manager Brian Addison, the Army Corps of Engineers have needed to dredge the pass every two years lately and some aren't digging the work, since we're heading into summer.

"I understand their disappointment," Addison said. "Unfortunately, there's a never a good time of the year to do it. We try to do this in the winter time."

Port Panama City has a specific depth requirement in order for large cargo ships to pass through. That's one reason why the project is underway.

The dredger starts by gathering sand from underneath the water. The sand then goes through a pipeline and comes out a tube on the beach. A crew on land then spreads the sand around the beach. In this case, the dredging will take place along 2,000 feet of shore.

"So we're just the beneficiary here at St. Andrews State Park. Then we get it put back on our beach to nourish the beaches here," Addison said.

The length of the beach has already been tripled due to the dredging work.

Long-time resident Robert Lydick is watching this project closely. "It provides us with naturally a lot of beach front, provides for fishing, provides also for a lot of recreational activities that take place here on the beach," he said.

The renourished sand may be a little murky now, but Addison said, "[It] hasn't been exposed to the sun for maybe a couple years. So once that happens, you won't be able to tell the difference."

The Army Corps of Engineers is going to use a more natural renourishing technique this time.

"They're only going to go maybe halfway up to the dune, grade it out to a certain point, and then basically leave the sand loose in the water. [This will] let the water move the sand around naturally to where it wants to go," Addison said.

"And although it's very expensive I understand, but I think it's one of the better things that we can do here for Bay County," Lydick explained.

Addison expects the dredging to be completed in the next two or three weeks, depending on the weather.

He also says to avoid the areas fenced off on the beach where the Corps is working.
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New Landscape at St. Andrews State Park
04/29/2015 01:07 PM

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting their regular maintenance of the shipping channel that runs through St. Andrews Park. From pleasure boats to large cargo ships, every year thousands of vessels pass through the channel at St. Andrews State Park.

The Corps is correcting several shallow sections in the pass. In order for the bigger ships to get through the channel, the bottom needs to be at least 38 feet deep. The engineers plan on cutting 40 to 42 feet.

The sand that is being removed will be placed on the gulf side of the beach to help with erosion. St. Andrews Manager, Brian Addison says the dredge will help across the board.

“Not only does this nourishment benefit us as far as the state park goes, but it also benefits the commerce here in the local area, because now they are able to bring the larger ships from the dredging area with the cargo in and out,” says Addison.

Officials at St. Andrews State Park say that the beaches are still open during this process, but they warn visitors to be mindful of the equipment.

If weather permits, the project should be done in a couple of weeks, and once it is complete, there will be more room for visitors to enjoy the beautiful beach.
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

MAY 8, 2015 UPDATE

A few more days and they will be finished, then the shelling fun begins!

May 9, 2015 UPDATE

May 12, 2015 UPDATE
Sunday, May 10, 2015, they finished the channel dredging and beach restoration and it looks totally beautiful.

MAY 17, 2015 UPDATE
Living 5 min away and working 10 min away, I buy an annual pass each year to the state park and visit often. Yesterday, my granddaughter and I totally enjoyed the kiddie pool and today I rode my bike there and walked around digging up shells and taking pictures - thanks for the great job!!!

PS A couple of photos of what it looked like before...

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