Picture of a healthy beach/dune ecosystem

Protecting our coastal treasures 

Palm Beach County’s 46-miles of sandy beaches are often subject to erosion caused by the ocean’s winds, waves, tides and storms. To protect our area beaches, several erosion control methods are used to maintain the shoreline while enhancing recreation, restoring natural beach and dunes and stabilizing sea turtle nesting habitat. 

ERM helps fund and maintain the restoration of over 14-miles of publically accessible beaches through beach and dune restoration, inlet management and installation of engineered structures.

 Beach and Dune Restoration

Picture of bulldozer pushing sand to form a beach profile

ERM protects 9 area public beaches  and restored  over 100 acres of dune habitat.

Due to the erosion that County beaches experience, periodic beach nourishment and/or dune restoration projects are required in order to replace sand to areas where it has been lost. The sand that is used can come from inland mines, offshore deposits or inlet sand traps. Each project is designed to minimize environmental impacts.

 Inlet Management

Picture of South Lake Worth Inlet (Boynton Inlet) from helicopter

ERM operates sand transfer plants at 2 of the County’s 4 inlets.

Inlets disrupt the natural transport of sand along the east coast of Florida. Sand-trap dredging and sand transfer plants help move sand around and out of the County’s inlets allowing for safe navigation, maintenance of tidal flushing, and supply of beach quality sand for shorelines located south of the inlets.

 Engineered Structures

Picture of rock piles used to prevent erosion along the shoreline

ERM uses engineered structures when traditional methods are not viable.

When erosion is severe enough that adding sand to the shoreline is not sufficient to keep the beach stable, engineered structures are considered. Typically, these man-made structures are used in areas of intense erosion and often include the construction of groins or breakwaters. The nooks and crevices of the rocks used to build the structures also provide valuable habitat.