Thursday, September 19, 2019

Summer Haven River breach worsens; county to plug breach soon. (SAR)

The vote was 3-2. 

Fiscally conservative Commissioners James K. Johns and Jeb Smith voted against blowing another $500,000 to plug the fourth breach of the Atlantic Ocean into Summer Haven River to save four homes. They question doing the same thing again and expecting different results, while there are higher priority sand needs to the north in Ponte Vedra, and a lack of good science or environmental peer review.

The St. Augustine Record article below is shallow and does not reflect the spirited debate. 

I have requested that GTM-NERR scientists and an engineering professor present their findings a future joint meeting of the St. Johns County Commission and St. Augustine Port, Waterway and Beach District Commission.

Enough junk science and governmental guesswork in St. Johns County, Florida

The Commission's September 12, 2019 deliberations may be viewed here: (Additional Item 2)

On September 17, 2019, NOT covered by the remaining reporter-distorters of the incredible shrinking St. Augustine Record, St. Augustine Port, Waterway and Beach District Commission voted to allow St. Johns County to work under the District's Army Corps of Engineers permit.  

The vote was illegal, ultra vires and unconstitutional, as Vice Chair THOMAS J. RIVERS (born December 1, 1942) REFUSED to allow public comment, despite my requesting to speak, supported by two Commissioners and citizen Thomas F. Reynolds.

Any work under another government's USACE permit may be illegal and subject the County to criminal, civil and administrative investigation,

Here's a shallow article from  the St. Augustine Record:

The Summer Haven River breach appears to be getting worse, but county officials plan to plug it soon.
Hurricane Dorian caused a breach in the dunes, and sand has clogged up a southern section of the river.
The county, by a settlement agreement, is obligated to try to maintain vehicle access in the area.
The County Commission recently approved up to $500,000 to plug the breach, though Commissioners Jimmy Johns and Jeb Smith voted against it. Though the county’s project isn’t about helping river flow, the county plans to use sand from the river to plug the breach. So that could help river flow in the area.
As of Tuesday, the county expected to have the breach plugged in about three to four weeks, County Public Works Director Neal Shinkre said.
“The goal for this project is to close the breach with the help of the sediment in the river,” Shinkre said.
But other projects are on tap that will help buffer the river and beach, and get more sand cleared out.
In a few months, the county plans to use sand in part of the Summer Haven River to create a sand berm in the area, Shinkre said. 
Also, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will dredge the Intracoastal Waterway near the Matanzas Inlet, removing about 300,000 cubic yards of beach-quality sand from the Intracoastal and placing it on the Summer Haven beach.
Crews will pipe the sand onto the beach and spread it around with bulldozers. The sand placement will help strengthen the beachfront, including where the Hurricane Dorian breach happened.
Despite the recent breach, Dee Parker, a member of the Friends of the Summer Haven River, said she remained positive on Tuesday. Parker said the current breach would affect other parts of the river if left untreated. But the projects that are planned will help.
“It’s completely fixable and doable, and I believe it will be done,” she said.
The Friends of the Summer Haven River and others are working not only on keeping the river water flowing but also improving its overall health, including re-establishing oyster habitat, said Linda Ginn, another leader of the Friends of the Summer Haven River.
“The most important think is getting the sand out of the river and also freeing up the flow,” Ginn said.

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