Southwest Florida's most used beach accesses could get a remodel late this year. Lee County has planned a major redesign of the four beach accesses at Lynn Hall Memorial Park. The walkways have become a maintenance issue for the county, according to Mark Kincaid of Coastal Engineering Consultants, who presented the project to the Local Planning Agency at their meeting on Jan. 8.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis began following up on a campaign promise to make the environment a priority by signing an order Thursday seeking to tackle Florida's problems with blue-green algae in its rivers and red tide off its coast.
GULF SHORES, ALA. The sugar-white sand in Gulf Shores is Alabama’s most popular half-mile stretch of public beachfront. This area also is undergoing $15 million in renovations and city officials want to keep it looking nice. So, in June, city officials adopted a wide-ranging list of regulations that included an Alabama first: The public beachfront became smoke-free.
Total re/insured losses resulting from Hurricane Michael in Florida are estimated to be approximately $4.9 billion, according to data compiled by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FLOIR).
“As I was doing research for the book, I actually found a connection between the dead zone, the baby boomer era, and Saturday morning cartoons,” Davis said.
SHALIMAR — A majority of the Okaloosa County Commission on Tuesday approved the latest version of the county project to dredge sand from the East Pass and deposit it on beaches on Okaloosa Island and Holiday Isle.
A year ago, restoring the once-thriving rookery that was Crab Bank was simply a dream without a source of financial reality. Now, the once seabird sanctuary will soon return to a place for wings to flap thanks to some federal financial aid.
DESTIN — With the goal of acquiring more public beach property, city officials hope to have appraisals of eight Gulf-front parcels completed within about the next two to three months.
WABASHA, Minn. (FOX 47) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is moving ahead with plans to build islands with dredged sediment in the backwaters of the Mississippi River along the north end of Lake Pepin.
January 12, 2019 - Orange Beach, AL - (OBA®) - The widening and improvement of Canal Road, environmental restoration of Cotton Bayou and Terry Cove, the creation of the Gulf Coast Environment Research Station, the designing and planning of the Gulf Coast Wildlife Recovery and Interpretive Center, expansion of the Orange Beach Wildlife Center, seawall repairs at Alabama Point, and sewer main upgrades - these are projects totaling $40 million that the City of Orange Beach is poised to receive from RESTORE Act funds.
Winter visitors are flocking to warm Gulf waters, quickly filling Vanderbilt Beach with towels and umbrellas. Look closer and one will see another sign of the tourist season in Collier County: security guards.
A Sarasota County ban on smoking at the beach was overturned in court, so now state legislators are looking to ban it statewide The dispute is about litter, not second-hand smoke.
Booming U.S. oil exports have set off a scramble to build Gulf Coast ports to handle more than 3 million barrels per day in new supplies expected over the next five years.
This week on the Coastal News Roundup, WWNO’s Travis Lux talks with Mark Schleifstein, environment reporter for Nola.com/The Times-Picayune, about a big new oil find in the Gulf of Mexico. Plus, the latest on a lawsuit related to Hurricane Katrina damages.
The state has finalized the purchase of a sugar farm near Houma to relocate some of the remaining residents of Isle de Jean Charles, an island rapidly sinking into the Gulf of Mexico, as part of a first-of-its-kind federal program supporting the large-scale retreat from the effects of climate change.
Rep. Brad Drake filed a bill Wednesday that would redirect settlement money from the BP oil spill into a new economic development fund in Northwest Florida.
The announcement by U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Alabama) that the Army Corps of Engineers will have the budget to place sand dredged from the Mobile Ship Channel in a newly expanded disposal site may ensure the long-term survival of Dauphin Island itself. The dredged sand can now be placed in shallower water depths closer to the island, where it will migrate to the beaches. This is also great news for the broader ecosystem, including beaches and dunes as well as speckled trout fishing, oysters, shrimp and crab.
Permits to drill in the U.S. onshore hit their second highest level for 2018 in December at 5,647, behind only November, Evercore ISI said Tuesday.
Nueces County commissioners have joined a chorus of public opposition to a proposed crude oil loading terminal planned for the Gulf of Mexico. A resolution officially opposing Switzerland-based Trafigura’s proposal to build an offshore loading dock for crude oil was approved Jan. 7 during the commissioner’s first meeting of the new year.
The news that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has placed a US$93-million order with Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company for the deepening and widening of its ship channel at the Port of Corpus Christi (PortCC) broke last week in what was still a sluggish news environment. But it is significant news: this is the first step the federal U.S. government has made to support efforts to boost crude oil exports and it is also the first step in a competition dance between the Port of Corpus Christi and commodity major Trafigura.
As the days of the federal government shutdown increase, so, too, do the chances of an emergency happening on the coral reef system 100 miles off the coast of Galveston.
Thirty years in the planning, dredging should begin soon in the Corpus Christi Channel Improvement Project. The first construction contract has been awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. LLC of Oak Brook, Illinois.
The last weekend of summer vacation in Lee County—the time when families might have been enjoying one last hurrah—Fort Myers Beach was empty.
The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for History. This review was originally posted on March 22, 2017.
Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier is urging Florida insurers to close the more than 42,000 Hurricane Michael claims that remain open nearly three months after the storm.
Dec. 31 (UPI) -- A new survey shows 10 times more trash ends up on the shores of Texas than any other state along the Gulf of Mexico.
ByBrooks Hays, UPI
It is not if, but when Houston’s perfect storm will hit…. They called Ike “the monster hurricane.” Hundreds of miles wide. Winds at more than 100 mph. And — deadliest of all — the power to push a massive wall of water into the upper Texas coast, killing thousands and shutting down a major international port and industrial hub.
Bill Merrell, who developed the Ike Dike concept nearly a decade ago, gave a lengthy presentation on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ plan, expressing some concern as to how it would impact residents.
Hurricane Michael survivors in the Florida Panhandle talk of stress or despair, which experts say can lead to anxiety and depression.
The owners' association behind the Seafarer Condos is asking the Escambia County Circuit Court to stop the county from opening new public beach access on Perdido Key.
PORT ARANSAS – After the most devastating hurricane in Texas history, Port Aransas mayor Charles Bujan says his city is about 75 percent complete in the recovery process.
Widespread red tide algae blooms proved devastating for Florida’s manatees in 2018, helping boost the total number of manatee deaths statewide to the second highest on record.
Three county taxing authorities are seeking more than $21 million from Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. to mitigate the anticipated erosion of revenue streams by Hurricane Michael. The board, charged with disbursing over $1 billion to eight Northwest Florida counties over the next 15 years, was scheduled to meet for the first time in Gulf County the week after Hurricane Michael.
Southeast Texas residents who want to make their case for or against a $31 billion, 71-mile "coastal spine" will have additional time to do so, Texas General Land Office officials said Wednesday. `The General Land Office is the local sponsor of the five-year, $20 million study on the coastal barrier. A draft of the study, expected to be completed in 2021, was released in October.
Trash, particularly plastic, in the ocean and along the shoreline is an economic, environmental, human health, and aesthetic problem causing serious challenges to coastal communities around the world, including the Gulf of Mexico.
There's much to do to address land loss and reduce flooding along the Louisiana coast. Yet, here are 16 ways that progress was made toward those goals in 2018.
More than 1,500 acres have been purchased to protect coastal wildlife areas in Jackson County using money from the 2010 BP oil spill, officials announced Wednesday. But thousands more acres could be added in the future. Up to $6 million has been allocated for the acquisition of up to 8,000 acres and habitat management of 17,500 acres in the Grand Bay area.
MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Saralyn Harder's short commute to a temporary job in a barbecue food truck at the edge of town winds through a paradise violently deconstructed. The palm trees, blanched by salt water, have turned brown and yellow. Dirty sand covers the sidewalks, with treadmarks carved by bulldozers and dump trucks.
Recovery for homeowners and residents of Greater Port Arthur — some 80 percent of the city was flooded — seemingly has come at a snail’s pace, even for those with private insurance but especially for those who weren’t insured or were inadequately insured. Some beleaguered residents who needed immediate assistance were still awaiting it at 2018’s close.
As global warming changes the Texas coast and cheap food imports flood the country, the people who make their living off oysters and shrimp are disappearing.
As recovery and restoration efforts ramp up post-Hurricane Michael, restoring the towering sand dunes that define beaches across Florida’s Panhandle has become a critical priority to local, state and federal agencies as well as coastal residents. But information about how best to restore dunes has not yet been collected in one place.
Natural disasters cost $155 billion this year, and several of them struck the United States particularly hard. Hurricanes Michael and Florence, the California wildfires and Hawaii’s volcano eruption are all on the list of the most expensive global disasters of 2018, according to the Zurich-based reinsurance company Swiss Re.
OKALOOSA ISLAND — After some of its members angrily blamed a few residents for driving up the cost, the Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council on Thursday unanimously approved spending $3.5 million in county bed tax money for the East Pass dredging/beach restoration project.
GALVESTON — Wading into the debate over a proposed coastal barrier to protect the Galveston-Houston area from major tropical storms, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush on Thursday urged federal officials to alter their proposed alignment to protect private property rights and to hold a longer public comment period before submitting their plan to Congress.
The Texas General Land Office and Matagorda County along with Atkins North America are inviting the public to discuss coastal numerical modeling results and alternative alignments for proposed breakwaters associated with the Sargent Beach Breakwater and Beach Nourishment Project.
ByBay City Tribune
SARASOTA (WWSB) -Storms like the one coming have the possibility of eroding our beaches. Sarasota’s City Engineer, Alex DavisShaw, said they will continue to work on Lido Key’s renourishment project despite the storm.
The Coastal Bend of Texas is one of the premier places to live and recreate in Texas. With miles of beaches, pristine waters teeming with aquatic life, areas designated by the EPA as essential fish habitats, and home to more than 400 resident and migratory bird populations including threatened and endangered species like the whooping crane, the Coastal Bend attracts new residents and visitors from all around the world.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has committed $4 million to putting sand from channel dredging work into an area where it could help feed the eroding beaches of Dauphin Island.
LSU Boyd Professor of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences R. Eugene Turner has determined a cost-effective way to prevent coastal erosion and protect Louisiana's wetlands. Along with LSU alumna and now University of Central Florida Postdoctoral Fellow Giovanna McClenachan, Turner proposes a simple and inexpensive way to fill in canals that were once used for oil and gas mining. Their research was published recently in the journal PLOS ONE.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Debris Program is pleased to release the “Texas Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide: Comprehensive Guidance Document” (Texas Guide), the final emergency response guide for the Gulf of Mexico states.
The coming year looks promising for tourism and, as a result, the Coast economy, Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast says. The region’s tourism bureau reports room reservations are up for 2018 and group bookings headed into 2019 are already strong. The group bookings are for business meetings and sports teams visiting places such as the Gulfport Sportsplex.
With 2019 approaching, Walton County can expect to see some renovations to popular South Walton amenities. Not only will the multi-use paths of Eastern, Draper and Deer lakes be upgraded, but so will the county’s public beach accesses, as well as the construction three more, according to Brian Kellenberger, director of beach operations for the Tourist Development Council.
Off Cedar Key on Florida's west coast, the water is some of the most pristine in the Gulf. The estuary there has long supported a thriving seafood industry.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Texas General Land Office will soon consult officials from other countries, local experts and public comments as they refine their Coastal Texas Study, a plan to improve and protect the Texas Gulf Coast from hurricanes and other devastating storms.
ST. PETE BEACH — A court fight over ownership of the white sand beach along the Gulf of Mexico could have a long-term impact on the public’s right to use that beach. St. Pete Beach and the Silver Sands condo complex have a trial date in 2020.
Major hurricanes, devastating wildfires, a drought and a series of extreme storms ran up the count of billion-dollar U.S. climate and weather disasters.
Many islanders will say these are the best gifts that could arrive to Anna Maria Island: Clear air. Clear water. Little red tide.
After years of threats to end a federal revenue-sharing program from Gulf of Mexico oil leases, Terrebonne Parish has decided to take a proactive measure to ensure the parish receives over $16 million in oil revenue money.
The Greater Lafourche Port Commission (GLPC) has announced plans to develop the next generation of deepwater port facilities at Port Fourchon, Louisiana. How do you go about constructing such a port and what impact will it have on the surrounding area? “Our goal is to use every speck of sand we dredge beneficially, and in the first cut of this deepening we’re going to generate about 20 million cubic yards of material.”
Now that the Comite River Diversion Canal has received the $343 million needed from the federal government to begin construction, all eyes are on a $1.2 billion pot that will pay for the next generation of south Louisiana flood control.
The government’s preferred plan for better protecting the coast will take billions of dollars, political will and community buy-in, ingredients that aren’t always easy to come by.
SABINE PASS — A $19.5 million project to protect Highway 87 right of way may also slow or halt erosion along a stretch of the Intracoastal Waterway in Jefferson Parish.
For decades, stormwater outfalls — large pipes that stretch from the sand into the water — have dotted the beaches of Naples, dumping debris and high levels of bacteria into the Gulf of Mexico.
South Florida’s real estate community will play a pivotal role in our region’s efforts to become more resilient. Our industry has enjoyed decades of growth and prosperity despite currency fluctuations, natural disasters and economic volatility. We now face our most significant challenge yet: showing the world how we will ensure long-term viability by hardening our infrastructure and adapting to climate change.
Hundreds of residents and property owners on Bolivar Peninsula packed a small cafeteria at Crenshaw Elementary School in Crystal Beach Saturday afternoon to give the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers a healthy dose of their concerns over a proposed 71-mile coastal barrier.
DeFUNIAK SPRINGS, FL — Attorneys for Walton County filed a complaint in Circuit Court this week seeking affirmation of its claim that the dry sand areas behind 1,194 private beachfront properties should be available to the public.
The Captiva Erosion Prevention District's board recently directed its consultants to move forward on the final draft for the proposed beach renourishment project, plus voted in a new administrator.
Sanibel and Captiva businesses suffered lost revenues of almost $27 million. "Our accommodations businesses lost $4 million in bookings," he said, "and restaurants lost $1 million, which translates to $100,000 in gratuities lost to servers."
America’s Midwest faces worsening trouble with undrinkable well water, recreational lakes choked with toxic algae and water treatment plants requiring budget-busting upgrades to remove pollution washing from farm fields and industries.
The Lone Star State is now an exporter of liquefied natural gas. A tanker named the Maria Express left Cheniere Energy’s Port of Corpus Christi facility with the terminal’s first cargo of LNG on Tuesday morning. The destination is not immediately known, but the voyage marks the first LNG export shipment from Texas.
After three decades of wrangling, Texas officials have approved funding to expand the Port of Corpus Christi, which will widen and deepen its shipping channel -- a project that will have national and international implications.
Initially, the town, which has more than 70 natural and manmade canals, had hoped to begin dredging the still-navigable canals, located in both Sarasota and Manatee counties, more than a year ago. But, the project was delayed by 2017’s Hurricane Irma and the outbreak of red tide, Public Works Director Isaac Brownman said. Town plans to remove 15,000 cubic yards of material from canals.
Turning the Toxic Tide is a series of editorials published collectively by the six editorial boards of USA TODAY Network-Florida, with the goal of providing an environmental road map for the state's next governor, legislators and congressional delegation. This is the first in the series.
JACKSON — Homes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast lost more than $263 million in value due to rising sea levels, a peer reviewed study by scientists with the First Street Foundation and Columbia University found. Rising sea levels hit Bay St. Louis hardest, with the city losing $95.4 million in home value over the 12 year study period between 2005 and 2017.
The turkey vultures circled overhead Dec. 3. It would take another day for the smell of decaying dead fish to reach the Palma Sola Causeway approach to Anna Maria Island.
Beach nourishment, a method for mitigating coastal storm damage or chronic erosion by deliberately replacing sand on an eroded beach, has been the leading form of coastal protection in the United States for four decades. However, investment in hazard protection can have the unintended consequence of encouraging development in places especially vulnerable to damage. In a comprehensive, parcel‐scale analysis of all shorefront single‐family homes in the state of Florida, we find that houses in nourishing zones are significantly larger and more numerous than in non‐nourishing zones. The predominance of larger homes in nourishing zones suggests a positive feedback between nourishment and development that is compounding coastal risk in zones already characterized by high vulnerability.
MANATEE - It was cold and blustery Monday morning along the beaches of Anna Maria Island, with larger-than-usual blue-green waves breaking on shore. Visitors were bundled in jackets and long pants to ward off the 63-degree chill as they walked along the sand or sat in folding chairs. But at least it wasn’t snowing and there was no sign or smell of red tide.
OKALOOSA ISLAND — As the fronds of newly-planted palms flapped in a frigid wind, about 70 people bundled up by the beach on a 42-degree Monday afternoon to honor two lifelong public servants.
As has been well documented by now, the Trump administration released one of the most significant reports about climate change in recent memory on a day when few people were paying attention to anything important—the day after Thanksgiving.
A couple of degrees of temperature and a few inches of water might seem hardly worth noticing. But those slight changes are having and stand to have effects — subtle and significant, understood and still uncertain — on the state’s coastal bays and the estuaries, the marine life tied to them and the people who enjoy those resources.
A $6 billion storm-surge barrier gate is just one component of a system of measures to shore up the entire Texas coast against hurricanes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is recommending in a preliminary study released in October—the latest chapter in the region’s decadelong pursuit of an “Ike Dike.”
There’s a chance the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will allow each Gulf Coast state to set its own seasons and potentially other management measures for the recreational red snapper harvest in both state and federal waters.
Three projects are seeking millions in BP oil spill recovery dollars to help revitalize the oyster industry in Franklin and Wakulla counties.
Johnny Bradberry is leaving his positions in state government as the governor’s executive assistant of coastal activities and chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority to become president of Baton Rouge-based engineering firm GEC, Inc.
Dallas - The cost to curtail damaging flooding across Texas over the next 10 years is more than $31.5 billion and state officials are urging lawmakers to adopt legislation meant to end a cycle of "repairing and rebuilding," according to a series of recommendations released Thursday.
The environmental impacts caused by the construction and operation of a proposed $8.5 billion Venture Global Plaquemines LNG Terminal will be discussed during a public meeting hosted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Belle Chasse on Tuesday (Dec. 11.)
WASHINGTON -- Lauren Alexander Augustine has been appointed executive director of the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
A new report says developers have an incentive to build on the coast and hope they'll be bailed out - and points to an astounding US case study. The incentives to build will become even more perverse if we decide what communities to defend based mostly on the value of property at stake, she says. At the extreme: The rich will get seawalls while the poor get moved.
Hurricane Harvey recovery will end up costing the state as much as $2 billion, according to a report released Nov. 30 by the Texas Senate’s budget-writing panel, although it said costs may fluctuate based on how much help it receives from the federal government.
The Collier County tourism bureau is pushing the message, "The coast is clear." Some residents are saying it could be misleading to tourists.