Beach Project Highlights
The City has a number of projects under construction on our Beach and the barrier island at this time. And a we have a number of recently completed projects that we are proud of.
- Sea Turtle Conservation Program
- Beach Nourishment
- Beach Master plan Phase 2
- Atlantic Dunes Pavilion
- Lifeguard Towers
The sea turtles that nest on Florida Beaches are either endangered or threatened and are protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 and Florida’s Marine Turtle Protection Act (379.2431, Florida Statutes). Sea Turtle nesting season occurs annually from March 1st to October 31st, with the peak of the season during the late summer months (July – August).
During the nesting season, daily turtle nest surveys of the City’s beach are performed starting just before sunrise. All emergences (turtle crawls) from the previous night are interpreted by the environmental specialist to determine which species of turtle came ashore and whether or not it nested on our beach. As a part of the daily surveys, all nests are clearly marked with stakes and flagging tape to reduce the possibility of nest impacts.
During the course of daily monitoring, any evidence of hatchling misorientation or disorientation from nests are documented. Based on track evaluations, an estimate of the number of hatchlings disoriented will be recorded and light sources potentially responsible for the disorientation identified. Information concerning each incident is documented and if applicable, the City works with the property owner to identify non-compliant lighting and recommend compliant sea turtle lighting.
In an effort to promote public awareness and involvement in the sea turtle program, the City performs public outreach events to engage interested public participants. During the 2019 nesting season, the City held 3 outreach events on our public beach to advise the public of our beach and sea turtle program, which included a short discussion, beach walk and a nest excavation. The public in attendance during these events were able to learn about the City’s Beach program, watch the monitor uncover the nest and sea a baby sea turtle. These events were a great success and will be performed in future years.
Appropriate lighting is Important!
- Sea Turtle hatclings are guided to the ocean by an instinct to travel toward the sky's reflection off the ocean.
- Today, coastal areas are highly populated and the artificial lights can deter females from nesting and disorient hatchling turtles.
- The City adopted Ordinance 11-14 in May, 2014 setting requirement for new and existing beachfront lighting. inspections are conducted by the City's Code Enforcement staff to confirm compliance.
- Please contact Code Enforcement at 561-243-7219 to report a suspected violation.
- Sea turtle nesting season along Florida's beaches is from March 1st to October 31st.
- Loggerheads nest most often on Delray's beaches, followed by Green, Leatherback and occasionally Hawksbill and Kemp's Ridley.
Sea turtle nesting success is a community effort!
The City of Delray beach needs your cooperation in keeping the beach dark, safe and free of obstacles for turtle and their hatchlings. It is critical that beach property owners:
- Move portable items (Chairs and cabanas) to the sandy foot of the dune each night to ensure sea turtles can easily navigate along the beach. Please avoid dune vegetation.
- Ensure that no direct or indirect light is visible from the bench, including drawing curtains closed at night to shield bright indoor lights.
- Keep your distance, lights off and quietly observe if you encounter a nesting turtle.
Turtle Lighting Basics
Please follow FWC's guidelines in order for your lighting to be turtle-friendly!
- Keep It Long - Sea turtles are less disturbed by long wavelengths of light, including those found in amber, orange and red LED bulbs.
- Keep It Low - The lower the light fixture, the less likely it will be seen from the beach. Proper light placement ensures that light illuminates the places where it is most needed.
- Keep It Shielded - Shielding the bulb minimizes "point source" light and directs the lights downwards, preventing light sources from being seen from the beach, while still providing sufficient lighting for people. You can find out where to buy shielded, wildlife lighting certified fixtures at the FWC's website.
Additional information about sea turtle conservation and lighting can be found at:
The United States Army Corps of Engineers will be performing a Beach Nourishment project on our beach this winter in response to the 2017 Hurricane Season (Irma, Maria). The work includes placing approximately 325,000 cubic yards of sand on the south end of the beach, in the area of Atlantic Dunes Park. For updates on the progress of the beach nourishment project visit delraycoastalconstruction.com/progess/
The Delray Beach Shore Protection Program consists of the design, permitting, construction and monitoring of approximately 2.8 miles of shoreline. The primary focus of the program is to provide for the protection and enhancement of the beach and coastal resources in accordance with State and Federal permit conditions. The Program includes annual topographic (onshore) and bathymetric (offshore) surveys of the beach and offshore. The monitoring data is used to assess, with quantitative measurement, the performance of the beach replenishment projects. The monitoring data provides the City and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection information necessary to plan for the next renourishment project, evaluate the beach performance and optimize the design of the next beach renourishment project.
The City of Delray Beach holds a Joint Coastal Permit (JCP) with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) for sand nourishment of the beachfront with offshore borrow areas. The City of Delray Beach has participated in eight beach nourishment projects from 1973 to 2012, with the most recent sand renourishment project completed in 2014 in response to damages incurred by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The City is currently working towards the next regularly scheduled renourishment event (anticipated winter 2020), performing a sand search and associated permitting to identify offshore sand sources for future projects, continuing post-construction monitoring for the 2013 and 2014 projects and preparation for the USACE Flood Control and Coastal Emergency (FCCE) project anticipated winter 2019.
The Beach Master Plan phase 2 will have the installation of the new pedestrian light poles on the east (beach) side of A1A. The City will start installing the pedestrian light poles at Beach Drive and continue their light pole installation to the south on A1A. At the start of the work a number of parking stalls on the east side of A1A will not be available for use and will be signed NO PARKING. As the lighting work progresses south and the pedestrian light poles are installed and secured, the closed parking stalls will be REOPENED for public parking. The new pedestrian lighting system is being installed from Beach Drive on the north end of the project to Casuarina Road on the south end of the project.
The original pavilion and boardwalk was destroyed by arson in June 2016, and was replaced exactly as it was with the exception that it is stronger and able to handle higher winds associated with major storm events. The replacement of the pavilion and boardwalk was completed in Fall 2018.
The City has replaced all eight of the current lifeguard towers with new towers that will provide greater public safety for beachgoers. Features include:
- They are designed on skids so that they can be maintained at a proper distance from the water due to changes beach changes caused by either beach renourishment projects and major storms.
- The new towers are outfitted with impact glass and louvered aluminum shutters to lower over the windows to protect them from flying debris or vandalism.
- New roofing to match the main pavilion and gazebos were put in place.
Beach Area Master Plan History
The plans for our beach project was first conceived in 2009 by the Beach Property Owners' Association, Inc. (BPOA). During that year, local architect Bob Currie drafted a design concept showing ways to incorporate improvements to the beach. In the years to follow, the BPOA provided leadership on this topic in the community, holding charities and raising funds to serve as seed money to begin the project. When the economy slowed, however, the plan was postponed, but never forgotten.
The City Commission championed the cause, fast-tracking the project by providing funds to design the architecture and complete construction plans for the Beach Area Master Plan. Construction for the project began on April 3, 2017, and was completed by the beginning of October 2017.
For general questions concerning the construction, please contact Isaac Kovner at (561) 243-7341 for Atlantic Dunes Pavilion and the Beach Promenade. For the Reclaimed 12C project, please phone Cynthia Fuentes at (561) 243-7196.