ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- St. Johns County commissioners approved spending money Tuesday on a study to help figure out the best solutions for erosion at three county beaches.
The state considers South Ponte Vedra Beach, Vilano Beach and Summer Haven as "critically eroded" beaches.
Farayln Jaquith lives on Vilano Beach. She and her husband built their house there 40 years ago.
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Over the years, she has seen erosion take place.
"It's been gradual," Jaquith said. "I know a lot of people who've came here back in the 80's or 90's and said, 'Wow! You've lost a lot of beach.' I think because I'm here all the time, you don't notice a lot."
St. Johns County Assistant Engineer Andrew Ames says the Army Corps of Engineers is in the middle of a $3 million, three year feasibility study to look at solutions for stopping or slowing erosion on the three beaches.
He said it's long and costly because "that gives you the best understanding of costs" for the project.
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Ames explained the study looks at a list of options, such adding material near the shore to cushion the wave action, or even adding sand to the beaches, similar to what's being done with the re-nourishment project at St. Augustine Beach.
"Not all beaches are the same. Not all influences are the same," Ames noted.
However, Jaquith and many other beach residents believe the dredging of sand near the St. Augustine Inlet for the St. Augustine Beach re-nourishment is actually causing erosion on nearby Vilano and South Ponte Vedra.
"I believe when they take the sand out there, somehow our sand fills that void in the ocean floor.
"It would take a tremendous amount of sand to be dredged from the ebb shoal to have any amount of erosion," Ames noted.
Still, Jaquith would like to see any future dredging happen somewhere else. She hopes that's the easy and cheaper solution for erosion on her stretch of beach.
"I'm not an expert," she admitted, "but it's what I think after watching everything happen."
Before work on the projects starts, the feasibility study has to be completed. There's no clear date for that because it's based on federal, state, and local funding.
Ames said the county pledged $350,000 Tuesday for the study this year.
First Coast News