Miami Beach is fighting a million-dollar battle against sea-level rise.
Over the next few months, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will bring in 100 truckloads of sand every day in an effort to combat erosion and replenish the city’s shoreline. This six-month renourishment project is taking place along four beachfront strips and is expected to end June 5.
Due to federal laws that prohibit local governments from importing foreign sand, Miami Beach is transporting the stuff from a mine in Hendry County near Lake Okeechobee. This is costing the city a hefty $16 million. Residents and visitors accessing the beach along 27th, 44th, 55th and 67th streets have been asked to use caution around these construction zones.
The sand’s effect on sea-level rise is unclear, since the water table is expected to rise. That could mean water will flood bubble up from below and inundate any land — including inland areas — not elevated.
Beach renourishment is not new for Miami Beach. The city has been carrying out these restoration projects since the late 1970s. Maintaining the beaches is not only beneficial to tourism, but to the area’s future.