FL - Key Biscayne earns critical inclusion into Corps of Engineers’ shoreline study
It was certainly worth the wait. Key Biscayne on Monday was officially included in this year’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Civil Works Work Plan, combining a Beach and Back-Bay Feasibility Study that has been approved as a three-year, $3 million project.
"It’s been a long journey and we made it through authorization, the waiver process, and now funding approval for an initial $500,000," Village Manager Steve Williamson wrote in a letter to Mayor Joe Rasco and Village Council members. "We will work with Congresswoman (Maria) Salazar and USACE for continued funding over the next two years."
Key Biscayne's study will parallel directly with the work being done on the Miami-Dade County Back Bay Study.
The County will be holding its second charette on the effort March 1-3, when Key Biscayne's inclusion will be announced and "begin considering how the two studies work together to protect the entirety of the County’s beach and bay shoreline," Williamson wrote.
Over the next few weeks, Village officials will begin coordinating with the Army Corps' Jacksonville District and Miami-Dade County on the Project Partnership Agreement and Federal Cost Share Agreement prior to launching the study.
Key Biscayne's efforts to protect the community's shoreline from storm surge and rising sea levels have gained a lot of momentum lately.
Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) had sent a letter to Michael Connor, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, detailing critical projects in Florida that merit new and continued funding to complete them.
One of those requests included the need for what is billed as "New Phase Investment Determination" under the Key Biscayne Flood Risk Management Shoreline Protection Feasibility Study.
The Army Corps already had performed the initial study of Key Biscayne’s beach and last year presented a 50-year coverage plan for reinforced sand dunes. But, a bay-side study is equally important.
"It's all about beach shoreline and bay shoreline," Williamson said. "If we want to protect our shoreline, we need it."