of So. Ocean Blvd.
from Intracoastal at Lake Worth Bridge
by Jimmy Shirley
Beach Voters Discover Gulf Stream's Undergrounding Debacle
Town of Palm Beach Referendum bond vote on Undergrounding
Utilities just squeaked by. Approximately one-half of the voters,
49.3%, opposed this project. Latest Update: According to
Palm Beach County Civil Court records it has been confirmed that a
lawsuit has been filed against the Town of Palm Beach regarding
the bond referendum.
after the March 15th referendum vote, information was published
that directly challenges Palm Beach’s "Undergrounding
Success Stories" advertising campaign. Palm Beach had
repeatedly used the small municipality of Gulf Stream as a
successful "Poster Child" to encourage undergrounding
the utilities in the Town of Palm Beach. The facts regarding Gulf
Stream’s undergrounding utilities project, which is far from
finished, has turned out to be quite the opposite of what the Town
of Palm Beach led voters to believe.
article in The Coastal Star newspaper, entitled: "Gulf
Stream More Delays, Higher costs for Town’s Underground
Utilities Project" (3/30/16), showed that there is a parallel
between the two Towns’ paths. In 2014 a similar article was
written. It’s now apparent that this horror story about a
community converting to undergrounding and their unbelievable
problems were kept from the voters by the Town of Palm Beach prior
to the election. At the 4/5/16 Town Undergrounding Task Force
Meeting, the topic was brushed past as if it is insignificant,
which is startling!
Stream Mayor, Steve Morgan, was very forthright during my
interview about the issues that they have encountered. The Mayor
raised the potential similarities that are likely on a much larger
scale when Palm Beach undertakes its own conversion.
Mayor of Gulf Stream describes the assortment of problematic
conditions in his municipality as "a sign of what will happen
in Palm Beach, too." His candor and concern is prophetic and
as the Coastal Star recently reported, "an ominous
sign to surrounding communities", such as a massive 45 mile
Palm Beach Undergrounding Project with far more complications and
problems on their horizon!
utilities in Gulf Stream has been riddled with major problems
which they have encountered, including continual delays. Their
proposed three year project dragged on and, according to Gulf
Stream officials the project’s completion will be more like six
years, double the original estimated time. They must continue to
deal with staggering cost increases. The work that was to have
cost $2.8M will now approach $4M. This will put the total cost of
undergrounding Gulf Stream’s utilities at about $6.5M.
their cost overruns, there are also problems with the assessments.
Confusion has resulted for those who have prepaid together with
bookkeeping complications. It is necessary to remember that Palm
Beach, which has over 8,500 properties to be assessed in its
undergrounding project, far exceeds the assessments of only
several hundred properties in Gulf Stream.
to Mayor Morgan, Gulf Stream has 2-3 miles of undergrounding
compared to the Town of Palm Beach, which has over 45 miles of
wires to bury! Palm Beach has advertised that its project will
take six to ten years to complete. If Gulf Stream’s 2-3 miles of
undergrounding is requiring almost six years, how can residents of
Palm Beach expect 45 miles of undergrounding to be done in the
same or slightly more time? Seems like an unrealistic expectation!
addition, Gulf Stream still has not completed phase one of its two
phase project. There are construction issues and problems with
FPL, AT&T and Comcast, "who do not work together",
according to town officials. This causes delays in taking the
factor which Gulf Stream’s Mayor explained is that, although (as
Palm Beach also plans to do) they hired engineers and contractors
to design and then implement the project, they had a major issue
dealing with FPL. Gulf Stream learned that FPL must review and
agree to every aspect of the plan and implementation. Also, the
Mayor said that "FPL does the actual drawings." This
process was extremely time consuming because FPL’s response time
Gulf Stream Mayor stands by his description of the construction
site as resembling "a Benghazi suburb"! These sites
remain in an unfinished state for long periods of time until FPL,
AT&T and Comcast work together, the poles are taken down and
everything is put back as it should be. The logical question is,
"Why would Palm Beach be any different?"
the similar pattern of delays, unfinished construction sites,
traffic congestion, escalating costs of the project over the
years, assessment issues that remain, problems from property
owners who do not want transformers or switch boxes on their
properties, missteps and mishaps, will create an even more
fragmented Town of Palm Beach than resulted from the split vote
the referendum left behind.
interesting comparison between the two municipalities is that Gulf
Stream had a "straw ballot." This means that all
property owners participated, not just registered voters. This is
in contrast to the Palm Beach situation in which only Florida
voters were allowed to participate in the bond referendum to
Morgan pointed out that, unlike Gulf Stream, "Palm Beach
doesn’t have a mandate for this from their people." He
said, in his community, they base their decisions on projects
using "consensus" from the entire community. The Mayor
mentioned that, without those same assurances, he felt it possible
that Palm Beach was more likely to encounter continual opposition
or challenges from their residents as they move forward with their
contrast, in the Town of Palm Beach, the Mayor and Town Council,
prior to the referendum, were asked several times at Council
Meetings to follow what other communities did and allow a
town-wide "straw ballot." Palm Beach officials refused!
Gulf Stream’s officials have acknowledged that at this point
they have no choice but to move forward, because the town is too
far into the project to turn back. Hopefully, Palm Beach officials
will change their path and move away from this town-wide
conversion project to prevent a parallel of this type of future
that seems inevitable for Palm Beach if they stay their course.
a Flood Prone Barrier Island Community Vote to Underground
Utilities? Know the
Part 1 of 3:
Town of Palm Beach is proposing through a referendum on a bond
issue on March 15, 2016, that they underground their utility wires
in a massive Town-wide, $152.4 Million ($90M plus $62.4M in
interest) 10 year long Undergrounding Utility Project. It will
be "…payable from Town’s full faith, credit, ad valorem
taxing power and non ad valorem special assessments…". This
Assessment (tax) will require payments each year for over 30
years. This is actually an increase in the taxes you pay every
year. It will be added to property tax bills for Town property
owners each year. However, unlike our property taxes, this Special
Assessment WILL NOT BE TAX DEDUCTIBLE!
the vote on this immensely important referendum takes place the
residents in Palm Beach, as well as our Condo News
readership, are entitled to know ALL the facts and implications of
converting from overhead wiring to undergrounding. These impacts
are important to all Town residents and property owners, whether
they vote or not. It is unfortunate that the Town Officials
rejected the recommendation by concerned residents to allow a
"straw ballot" for non voter property owners who are
equally impacted by the decision that Town voters will make on
March 15th. The facts, implications and revelations that you will
learn from this series will make everyone more aware of the
important details that need to be understood before they are voted
is interesting to note that the Town has paid a political
consultant $125,000, in taxpayer funds, to promote the passage of
this referendum. The consultant at a public meeting stated,
"We have … days to sell this thing."
this Undergrounding Referendum gets 51% favorable votes, this will
be the first Town wide Special Assessment within the Town of Palm
Beach. Many property owners find that fact alarming because it
will set a precedent that can lead to other Town-wide non tax
deductible assessments for other projects going forward.
proposed Town-wide Special Assessment is a rejection of pure Ad
Valorem taxation which has been the standard of the American
taxation system which began in 1812. Our property tax bills are
normally based on assessed property values. In Florida the
Homesteading benefit is an optional choice for every Florida
property owner. With this Special Assessment however, the
Homesteaders are deprived of their statutory benefits!!
Town’s Special Assessment methodology is based on a perception
of "benefits" that the Town claims will be calculated
based on the Aesthetics, Reliability and Safety benefits that each
property owner is believed to realize from the Town converting to
undergrounding the utility lines.
begin with some important facts about RELIABILITY. I’ll pose
questions that readers should answer after you have read the
following facts about Reliability issues. These facts have been
derived directly from FPL.
FPL states that "hardening" our overhead poles and
lines withstands 145 mph winds. "Our strengthened power
lines and poles have already performed better both during
storms and when skies are blue. Our experience with tropical
storms in the past few years shows that strengthened main power
lines are roughly half as likely to experience an outage during
severe weather. Under normal weather conditions, hardening a power
line reduces frequency of daily outages by up to 40%."
Palm Beach Island is a low lying barrier island and is in
the "Flood Plain", thereby making it Flood Prone.
It doesn’t take a hurricane to flood many areas on the island.
Sometimes a nor’easter or just a heavy rain storm will flood the
streets within the Town of Palm Beach. Also, the Intracoastal is
rising every year. It often floods the banks and the properties.
According to FPL, "While underground facilities are not as
susceptible to wind and debris-blown damage, they are MORE
susceptible to water intrusion and local FLOOD DAMAGE, which can
make repairs more time consuming and costly."
"UNDERGROUND INTERRUPTIONS…typically last longer due to
more complex repair requirements. Following …hurricanes, we’ve
found that areas that took the longest to repair were generally
those served by underground facilities still flooded days after
the storm passes. Damage and corrosion of underground
electrical systems often shows up days or even months later,
causing additional outages and inconvenience to customers."
what you have just read, is it worth paying a Non Tax Deductible
Special Assessment every year for over 30 years and endure 10
years of massive construction for a non-essential undergrounding
project that will cost a minimum of $152.4 Million?
this sound like a good investment?
Tuesday, March 15, 2016, Town voters will be asked to vote for or
against this Undergrounding Referendum. Knowing what you now know,
why wouldn’t you "VOTE AGAINST" the Bond Referendum?
Part 2 of 3:
by Maddy Greenberg
"hardened" poles and wires south of Lake Ave in
Palm Beach. Cement poles and coated wires that will
withstand 145mph winds, quick repairs, free of charge to
Town residents, no additional tax on property tax bills,
made to blend in with trees and not obstructive to the view.
Why spend $152.4M to get rid of them and pay up to a 10-15%
tax increase for new underground utility reliability flood
from the Florida Public Service Commission Undergrounding
transformer is underwater and the utility wires are
underground. Is this something that we want to have happen
to us on a "flood plain barrier island?
was discussed in Part 1 of this 3 part series, the Town of Palm
Beach is asking the voters to approve a referendum on March 15,
2016, to issue bonds that would pay to underground the Town’s
utility wires in a massive 10 year Town-wide Undergrounding
to one of the Town’s pamphlets, labeled "Information
Guide", "Longboat Key" is identified as a success
story. The following report is from the newspaper in Longboat Key,
Your Observer, entitled "Power Outage Sparks
Concern", dated 7-22-15, http://www.yourobserver.com/article/power-outage-sparks-concern,
"Altogether, 3,500 Longboat Key homes lost power that night
… some lost power for a few hours, while others were in the dark
for up to 10 hours." "The main culprit for those 10-hour
outages was an underground powerline … that fizzled out and
needed to be replaced …" "The outage was a firsthand
lesson for Long Boaters on one of the disadvantages of underground
article goes on to say, "... when a line goes out
underground, it takes longer to determine where the problem is
coming from, to dig up the problem and repair it."
addition, "...two above ground switch cabinets, which sit in
metal boxes above ground and transfer power … malfunctioned. One
of them smoked, prompting Longboat Key firefighters/ police to
spokesman Bill Orlove stated, "It takes time to dig up a new
wire and replace it". "It’s not the only con that
comes with burying the island’s power lines…"
is a similarity about Longboat Key and the proposed undergrounding
utility project that the Town of Palm Beach is promoting. They are
both barrier islands. Therefore, the major outage problems and
impacts that undergrounded Longboat Key had suffered can easily be
what the Town of Palm Beach would incur if the voters allow this
referendum to pass.
significant is the statement regarding barrier island Longboat Key’s
undergrounding problems, that "A severe weather event, such
as a hurricane, could leave the island without power for a longer
amount of time." "The island is susceptible to flooding
after a severe storm, and crews can’t restore power until water
recedes, so it delays the time it takes to restore power",
Orlove said, "Water and electricity don’t mix."
resident of Longboat Key said something quite applicable for Palm
Beachers, "For people who live here year-round in the summer
months, power outages that last this long are a real concern"…"The
cons of underground service are real." Which the resident
summed up with, "This may be wrong for this island."
Town of Palm Beach is on a "Flood Plain" barrier island.
Although the Town listed Longboat Key as a success, it appears
that if we follow in their footsteps, the outcome would be equally
sad and similar.
contrast to Undergrounding, Orlove also stated that, Overhead
"hardening efforts increase service reliability to critical
community facilities, identified through our collaboration with
local officials… These critical community facilities include
hospitals, police and fire stations and emergency communication
the claim by the Town of Palm Beach that undergrounding utilities
creates better reliability, is clearly taken out of context and
not accurate as it relates to our flood plain and flood prone
officials and staff have attempted to make statements of their own
in order to counter the reliability "Cons" or
"Disadvantages" from FPL, that tell us that "damage
and corrosion of underground electrical systems often show up days
or even months after, causing additional outages…". Town of
Palm Beach staff have defended their claims of reliability by
telling the electorate and putting it in writing that the cable
under the Intracoastal doesn’t get wet inside and corrode,
therefore neither would the undergrounded utility wires. That
statement by Town staff reflects a lack of electrical and
engineering expertise on this issue.
to Izak Teller, Palm Beach resident, President of 2600 Condominium
on South Ocean Blvd. and experienced electrical and construction
engineer by trade, who worked on Manhattan island with overhead
and underground utilities for many years; there is a very real
difference between the cable that runs across the floor of the
Intracoastal and underground utility wires. Mr. Teller explains
that, "The wire under the Intracoastal is continuous, without
connections or transformers. The wires laid underground for our
utilities have ‘taps’ at every four houses to connect to
transformers and the transformers are above ground. The
transformers have additional ‘taps’ to feed the four houses it
serves. These taps have to be made ‘accessible’… and they
are more difficult to seal. IT IS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO SEAL ALL
THE ‘TAPS’ OR CONNECTIONS REQUIRED. EACH CONNECTION IS A
POTENTIAL AREA FOR WATER INFILTRATION. The lines under the
Intracoastal are by definition more resistant than those placed
underground for the utilities on our barrier island."
major problem with corrosion and damage to the wires due to our
flood prone barrier island and the power outage incident and
consequences on barrier island Longboat Key, should make all Palm
Beach voters’ common sense kick into gear. Common Sense tells us
that regardless of the cost, significant or not, all voters should
VOTE "AGAINST BONDS" and the Underground Utility Project
Referendum on March 15, 2016. It just doesn’t make sense to do
Part 3 of 3:
by Maddy Greenberg
would you like this new undergrounding equipment placed in
front of your property?
Why trade safe poles that are replaced for free for an
underground system and HIGHER TAXES for the next 30 years?
Town of Palm Beach is proposing a massive town-wide expenditure to
be financed by all the property owners for the purpose of
undergrounding utility wires. This town-wide project will go before
the voters as a bond referendum on March 15th in order to finance a
$152.4 Million ($90M plus another $62.4M in interest).
this referendum succeeds, there will be a 10 year long construction
and disruption within the Town, where the roads and parts of
properties will be torn up. I heard testimony at a town meeting
which indicated that there will be interruption of service,
installation delays over problems that come from unexpected causes
and power outages during the construction phase. Endless
construction will become a way of life for a decade in the Town in
order to underground utilities so that those who don’t like
looking at overhead poles and wires will be satisfied.
doing this series, I reviewed the Florida Public Service Commission
Reports on Undergrounding as well as many other studies and reports;
including FPL’s website. I interviewed Florida Public Service
Commission, FEMA and FPL representatives. I learned a great deal
about the advantages and disadvantages of both overhead wiring and
undergrounding our utilities. Based on my research and the experts I
consulted there appears to conclusive evidence that there are too
many unknowns and disadvantages to favor a project that is so flawed
both in its presentation by the Town, the difficulty with a
conversion in an established community and, most of all, the
construction and implementation of undergrouding utility wires in a
flood plain, flood prone barrier island!
a voter myself, I can not in good conscience support this referendum
because of the many impacts it will create for the Town of Palm
Beach. Among them tax increases on our property tax bills of up to
20% and more. Without the ability to take a tax deduction on the
increase that would be levied upon us for a non essential luxury
item, it will be a hardship for many and an unnecessary increase for
those who pay enough taxes already.
addition, there will be many other major inconveniences that this
project will cause. There will be fights over which properties will
allow the placement of transformer boxes, their size and also the
larger switch boxes. Since there is no design or plan no one really
knows what size the equipment will be in front of either single
family homes or multi family condominiums.
our flood prone issues and the realities that we know about the
corrosion that takes place with the salt air and salt water
intrusion, plus the flood issues that we have suffered from
historically, which will only get worse with the rising seas. It
makes for a flawed undergrounding utilities project, which is, in
essence, like buying a pig in a poke with a blank check!
facts make Town-wide undergrounding of utility lines for so many
miles and thousands of property units a very different project than
other undergrounding projects that have been constructed in other
question I have repeatedly been asked is why? Why are we being
pushed so hard to do this? We know that the hardened poles and wires
that already exist in the Town are not the monstrosities that we are
seeing in the ads that the Town is showing! We also know that FPL
will, in fact, replace wooden poles with hardened poles free and as
part of the fees you already pay them! There are much more important
issues and matters that need our attention. According to FPL
Spokesperson Bill Orlove, "Hardening efforts increase service
reliability to critical community facilities, which are identified
though collaboration with local officials…"
Bill Orlove said, "Undergrounding power lines is NOT a ‘silver
bullet’." That same thing had been echoed by FPL Regional
Manager, Ethel Isaacs Williams and John Lehr, who came to speak
before the Town’s task force in October. They all acknowledged
that undergrounding utilities means power would be "susceptible
to flooding. The power outages in some areas may be on good days
less frequent, but the outages from undergrounding are much longer
Orlove said, "…in terms of overhead wiring, our strengthened
power lines and poles have already performed better both during
storms and when skies are blue. Our experience with tropical storms
in the past few years show that strengthened main power lines are
roughly half as likely to experience an outage during severe
weather. Under normal conditions, hardening a power line reduces
frequency of daily outages by up to 40%."
and common sense tells a reasonable individual that we have little
choice but to VOTE AGAINST BONDS in this undergrounding referendum.
It is just not good, sound business to blindly buy an item and hope
for the best! We need to get to the polls and VOTE AGAINST THE BONDS
ON MARCH 15th!
Their Strength and The History of These Storms Should Jolt Us Into
a 10-part series ~
other night we had a booming thunder storm that went on for
several hours. It sounded quite close to my apartment. The winds
picked up and the rain came down quite heavily. At around
midnight, for a few short minutes we lost power. All of this made
me think about the fact that we are in hurricane season and
although it is ten years this October since Hurricane Wilma, we
should always be vigilant about the possibilities of being hit
head on by a hurricane.
couple of years ago, Tropical Storm Sandy was 250 miles offshore
here in Palm Beach County, yet that one Tropical Storm which was
so far away did its share of damage.
not forget the dangers of hurricanes and remind ourselves that we
should be prepared during this season, whether by purchasing
supplies or promoting shoreline protection, such as beach
nourishment projects designed to protect ourselves from at least a
Category 2 hurricane.
me give you a better idea as to what these "categories"
mean to us laymen. There is a Wind Scale for hurricanes that goes
from one to five. Category 1: have sustained winds of 74 up to 95
mph. Sometimes a Cat 1 storm is even more dangerous than a 4 or 5
storm, because if the storm stays in the area and moves very
slowly, which is not likely with a Cat 4 or 5, it creates more
damage. A Category 2 hurricane: has sustained winds of 96 up to
110 mph. This is considered a dangerous storm because of the winds
causing more damage. Category 3: have sustained winds of 111 up to
129 mph. This level of a hurricane can cause devastating damage
and loss of life. Category 4 which has winds that sustain at 130
to 156 mph is considered catastrophic in its magnitude. God forbid
we are ever hit by a CAT 5 hurricane, with winds of 157 mph and
higher, it will be a major catastrophe that despite shutters,
hurricane glass and beach nourishment, the upland properties and
those of us living in its path, will be devastated. The wind scale
I describe is from the National Hurricane Center.
from the strong winds, there is the damage that is caused by
flooding in many of our low lying flood areas, plus the horrendous
impacts of the wave action which will cause destruction to any
shoreline that is unprotected, and cause a loss of property and
create an unsafe situation resulting in millions of dollars of
damage. As I recall since I was in my condo with my sweet parents
during Hurricane Wilma besides everything else during the
hurricane it sprouted tornadoes as well. Any of these storms can
cause multi billions of dollars in damage to the infrastructure we
have along the coastline and it will also do damage inland as we
saw in other hurricane of the past.
is most definitely a scary possibility and so we have to advocate
for better shoreline protection projects so that a mere Tropical
Storm does not cause unnecessary harm and we have the right to
expect shoreline protection from a the very least up to a CAT 3
hurricane. For inland properties and infrastructure, better
building codes, shutters and impact glass is something we need to
make sure is taken care of.
issue I will talk a bit more about some of our historical
hurricanes and what we should have learned since then.
last major hurricane to hit Palm Beach County, had no name, but
this storm which hit the County back in 1949 hit the Town of Palm
Beach in the south end, just north of what is now the Four
Seasons. The storm made landfall on August 28th. In those days
storms were not given names. Ironically, that began the following
year. The storm was upgraded last year to a Category 4 hurricane
by the Atlantic Hurricane Database.
then, there wasn’t that much of a population here in Palm Beach
County, like we have today. If that storm hit us now, just on Palm
Beach Island alone, it would cause many billions of dollars in
damage with all the infrastructure along and adjacent to the
coastline, which includes condos, homes, stores, the many
buildings so close to the shoreline.
doesn’t include the life and safety issues that would greatly
endanger our populace. Isn’t that scary? I think it is actually
terrifying. Especially, since we are greatly unprepared for such a
storm. Just the flood areas alone, let alone that our buildings
(our condos and homes) are not built or prepared to with stand
such high wind velocities, nor the hotels and motels we will take
pray, that doesn’t happen during any of our lifetimes. The loss
of life would be more tragic than the loss of property, in my
opinion. Especially because of the complacency that has become so
common among all of us. I must admit, that includes me. Ten years
is a long time and we forget or just choose to. I can’t even
imagine what could happen to those that do not evacuate in such a
storm, or choose poorly built structures to take shelter in. I
remember how impossible it was to get reservations in hotels or
motels at that time and how so many residents were trapped out on
the roads in traffic jams on I-95 or the turnpike.
1949 hurricane had sustained winds of 132 mph when it hit the
land. That made it a CAT 4 storm. It is said that according to an
anemometer reading from Palm Beach recorded gusts were up to
155mph. Can you just imagine that and what the damage that would
do throughout Palm Beach County? North of Palm Beach up in Jupiter
and Stuart, the anemometer stopped after reaching 153 mph. The
storm battered Palm Beach island for two hours and wreaked havoc,
even in those days.
compare that to our most recent hurricanes, Frances, which hit on
September 5, 2004, and a few weeks later on September, 25th,
Hurricane Jeanne followed. This year is the 10th anniversary of
Hurricane Wilma, which hit in October of 2005.
to the National Weather Service, Frances’ winds were 64 mph in
Palm Beach County, with highest gusts of 91 mph. The peak gust was
measured at the Jupiter Inlet. Frances made landfall in Martin
County at Seawall’s Point. The eye of the storm did move into
northeastern Palm Beach County though.
Jeanne’s strongest official sustained wind was recorded at 60
mph at the Lake Worth Pier, with an unofficial peak gust that was
as high as 125 mph.
Wilma, our most recent hurricane to hit us in Florida, has been 10
those of us, like me, just think how much our lives have changed
since Frances, Jeanne and Wilma. Unbelievable! I know where I was
in each of those storms. Who I was with and what I was doing. If
you were here in Florida, what were you doing and how has your
life changed since then?
about it and we will continue this in our next issue. Until then,
be well, stay safe and make a prayer that we will have another
year free of those hurricanes and hopefully free of a Tropical
Storm, even one that hits 250 miles offshore.
our last issue I mentioned the unnamed 1949 Hurricane that hit
Palm Beach just north of the Four Seasons resort. That storm was
thus far the most powerful hurricane to hit Palm Beach. The
previous powerful hurricane to hit the island was in 1928. Some
argue that it was the worse storm to hit the island, because of
the damage it did. Luckily though for Palm Beach there were no
deaths, unlike the thousands that it killed in the Glades after
the dike south of Lake Okeechobee burst. Among the damage that the
1928 storm left in Palm Beach, it completely washed out entire
sections of A1A. It took 20 years before Palm Beach was hit by
second major storms, in 1947 and 1949, which apparently also
washed away other parts of A1A or South Ocean Boulevard.
Williams of Delray Beach, hosts a website called HurricaneCity.com.
Apparently Mr. Williams who put together various data on cities
along the East Coast and the Gulf coastline, claims that the Town
of Palm Beach gets hit or is affected by tropical storms or
hurricanes about every 2.07 years and hit directly with hurricane
winds once every 5.56 years.
it has been 10 years since Hurricane Wilma hit, so there must be
other things that affect hurricanes and where they come ashore.
They say that the water temperature being cooler and a weak El
Nino have an affect on things. As we all know, even a tropical
storm, 250 miles offshore can have a terrible impact on our
shoreline. Isn’t that what Tropical Storm Sandy taught us just a
few years ago? She damaged our coastline and reeked havoc as Super
Storm Sandy when she went up the coastline.
Hurricane Wilma impacted and struck Palm Beach, 54 years after the
August 26, 1949 hurricane, Wilma was a (borderline) CAT2, there
are some who say it was a CAT 1 storm. Either way, regardless of
which category Wilma was, just look at all the damage she did.
forbid we should get a 1949 type CAT 4 hurricane, then the
hurricanes of Frances, Jeanne and Wilma will look like a picnic
and we will find ourselves totally unprepared. Yes, we have better
building codes and even our insurance has been upgraded with
mandatory shutters in most condos and many people now have impact
hurricane glass windows and doors, but remember, our buildings
were built years before Frances, Jeanne and Wilma. Therefore our
homes and condos may have the proper glass and shutters, but that
doesn’t mean we are protected from storm surge and just because
your home may be standing, doesn’t make it habitable. Think of
the damage that flooding can do.
am not attempting to scare anybody, just think about the fact that
the storms are coming from the ocean and the storm surges and the
impacts to our properties and homes comes from that direction,
therefore the condition of our shoreline is of utmost importance
to our survival.
times like these, the lake level rises and floods, but our major
issue and concern comes from the ocean side and without the proper
shoreline protection we are all in peril.
me tell you a story when I was in my condo years ago, with my two
sweet loving parents during Hurricanes Jeanne and later during
Wilma. My mom had fallen in a motel where we were staying when we
were evacuated during Frances. As a result, my dad refused to
leave during the next two hurricanes. You may recall that I was a
caregiver for my two elderly parents and I certainly would never
leave them alone to fend for themselves, so we stayed in our
during Wilma, the Town of Palm Beach did not call for an
evacuation until too close to the hurricane coming ashore and it
was in the middle of the night.
in 2000, I was one of the pioneers along South Ocean Boulevard who
had Hurricane glass and sliding doors installed in my unit. I do
not have hurricane shutters and therefore I observed the two
hurricanes while I stayed in my condo with my parents.
I experienced in my observations was quite frightening. I watched
the waves rise and the hurricane force wind driven rain and water
came over the dunes and flooded our pool deck and came into the
first floor in certain areas, which is on the pool deck level. My
apartment faces both the ocean and the Intracoastal. From the lake
side on the other side of A1A, I watched as the water rose and
came east, flooding the land on the west side and coming onto A1A
or South Ocean Boulevard. Luckily, it wasn’t that bad in those
storms from that side. Although, during the height of the storms,
I remember thinking that the ocean and the lake might meet and I
could see my hurricane windows were slightly bowed by the
hurricane force winds and the driven rain.
be prepared in the future, because even in quiet hurricane season
and periods of time, there is still the possibility of a major
storm or even a "Super Storm". We have to think about
the buffer that is imperative to protect us. That buffer and best
protection from Mother Nature, is our shoreline. What that means
is it is even more essential to renourish our beaches that over
these years have become critically eroded. The renourishment
projects must be done in a manner that are most effective for the
long term and help shield us against hurricanes. Without that, we
are going to be sitting ducks and that just isn’t acceptable,
because it can be prevented.
is more to come on this subject in our next issue. Until then, be
well and stay safe.
aerial photo taken from a 1940s postcard shows the Lake
Worth Casino in the center with A1A running the entire
distance north and south of the casino right along the
beach. The road in this area was later moved away from the
to the Hurricanes of the 1940s in Palm Beach, there were several
that came one year after another. The first came in 1945 on
September 15th and it had 130 mph winds. In 1947 a CAT 4 hurricane
came on September 17th with 155 mph winds and then in 1948 on
September 22nd another 85 mph hurricane came along. The 1949
hurricane came in August on the 26th and the eye passed directly
over Palm Beach with 150 mph winds. During those hurricanes, Lewis
Kapner was a young boy who lived with his family on Seaview Ave.
across the street from where the Palm Beach Day School is in the
Town of Palm Beach. His parents owned a grocery store in town.
& Lewis Kapner
photo by Maddy Greenberg
Kapner, along with his lovely wife Dawn, are now my neighbors at
my condominium in the south end of the Town of Palm Beach on South
Ocean Boulevard. But, in the 1940s, Lew lived with his parents in
midtown Palm Beach. He is a native Palm Beacher, who grew up in
the Town of Palm Beach and then later his family moved to the
north end of town. So, he knows exactly what it was like to live
through a series of hurricanes, pre-doppler radar, hurricane
planes, mass evacuations and air conditioning in the heat of the
summer in Palm Beach, Florida. Can’t imagine how difficult that
Lew remembers, back in the ‘40s he was not evacuated and stayed
on the barrier island for all the hurricanes. As a kid, Lew said
he did not realize the seriousness and life and safety issues that
come along with a hurricane. Especially, living on a barrier
island and instead he thought that flooded streets and downed
trees were rather fun to play in after the storm subsided. Lewis
said he remembered the high winds and heavy rain, but luckily his
family home did not get flooded or torn apart, which I am sure was
not true for everyone living in the Town of Palm Beach throughout
those series of storms. Considering the severity of those storms,
Lew and his family were rather lucky to have pulled through
unscathed. A good possibility which saved many lives and homes at
that time was the fact that the beaches in those areas of town
were not eroded and the beaches and dunes saved them from
a homegrown Palm Beacher and Floridian, Lew stayed in the area and
as an adult lived with his wife in his family home in the north
end of Palm Beach where the couple raised their children. Lew is a
retired Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Palm Beach County and
Mr. Kapner is currently an attorney with a practice in marriage
and family law, where his daughter, who is also a homegrown Palm
Beacher, practices law by her dad’s side.
even with modern technology and the pre-knowledge of a coming
storm in today’s world, in many ways we could be worse off if
those types of hurricanes battered us today.
you wonder? Those answers will come as this series continues.
on this series in our next issue, so stay tuned. Find out why in
many ways if we don’t get the proper beach nourishment on all of
those badly (critically) eroded beaches we are worse off today
here on South Ocean Boulevard if we had those same types of
importantly we will cover why beach nourishment is so important to
protect our lives and properties not only on the shoreline but
then, be well and stay safe.
all Condo News readers are aware, through my series on
"Hurricanes: Their Strength & the History of These Storms
& What It Should Mean to Us", I had mentioned that since
we have not had a hit by a hurricane since Wilma ten years ago, we
have become overly complacent. I wrote that although it was
predicted by the experts that this would be a quiet hurricane
season for us, that doesn’t mean that one big storm either
"brushing the coastline", "hitting us head on"
or even coming in the State from the west, can’t cause hardship
and or worse.
articles also talked about the prospect of flooding. Now as of
Friday, August 28th when I am writing this article, we are not
sure whether "Erika" will be a powerful Tropical Storm
or speed up and go back to a CAT 1 hurricane. According to the
weather experts and TV that have reported that Erika keeps
changing from hour to hour. As of yet no one knows exactly how or
if Erika is going to affect all of our homes and our lives.
this part 5 of my series we are going to take a short break from
the history of our hurricanes and what is necessary to take place
on our coastline areas that have been critically eroded; instead
we are going to talk about "Erika", which has put much
of Southeast Florida into a panic for several days now.
don’t recall until this particular storm, ever hearing about the
"cone of uncertainty". Which is layman’s terms means
to me that with all their fancy technological equipment, they
still don’t know where or if this storm will strike South east
Florida. Not too comforting. It appears to our good fortune at the
moment of my writing this article that the storm might weaken. Let
thing that this storm has proven to be so is that in the past 10
years, two things have taken place: 1- Many new people have moved
here to Florida and they are totally unaware and have no real idea
how to prepare for a hurricane. 2- Although there are many like me
that lived through the more recent hurricanes and tropical storms,
it has been a long time and we have become complacent. Both types
of folks are dangerous, because none of us really know when that
one storm that hits us head on and hangs out for any length of
time and causes some sort of devastation could take place.
need to stay vigilant and prepare and take the necessary measures
to prevent the onslaught of catastrophic erosion on beaches that
have been allowed to deteriorate, so that it doesn’t cause the
loss of infrastructure, homes, buildings and lives.
must also be prepared so that, flooding and wind damage doesn’t
cause cataclysmic conditions because the population having been
too complacent and ignoring the signs and the need to prepare
themselves and their properties.
hurricane can come along when we least expect it and when we are
unprepared. One such imperative measure to avoid catastrophe is to
develop and construct beach nourishment projects designed to take
the brunt of hurricanes, instead of what exists now in some areas
of the coastline where there is nothing to buffer the onslaught of
the wave energy caused by the hurricane which typically comes from
the ocean side.
thing to get ready for is preparing for the loss of power due to
high winds and the deluge of heavy duty rains.
of these possibilities exist and preventative measures need to
take place before tragedy becomes the outcome, some of it which
could have been avoided.
hope that when you read this article on Wednesday, Erika will be a
distant bump in the radar. Most importantly it is this writer’s
hope that people realize preventative measures to ensure life and
safety which are a must when you live in Southeast Florida.
series will continue, because there is a lot more to learn about
when it comes to hurricanes, their strength, the history of these
storms and what it should mean to us.
safe, stay well and pray that we avoid any hurricanes this season.
you live in Florida it is understandable, intelligent and
necessary to have concerns about the impacts of hurricanes on
safety, on homes and on surrounding areas. It is what we do to
resolve these valid concerns that really matters to be able to
maintain and protect our way of life and our future.
this series has progressed and we have learned about some of the
significant hurricanes and storms and how they can affect us, you
will, hopefully, come to the same conclusion as I have. In order
for that to take place you need to follow this series to its
you would like to catch up on any previous articles in my series,
go to http://www.condonewsonline.com/ Condos of S. Ocean Blvd.,
my series, you have read about some of the most significant
hurricanes to hit Palm Beach County and specifically Palm Beach
Island, starting with the unnamed storm in the 1920s and the
series of storms that hit in the mid to late 1940s.
have seen a photo of the south end of Palm Beach Island back in
the ‘20s and early ‘40s, when State Road A1A was located on
the ocean and had to be moved west to where it is today because of
the constant sand erosion from the hurricanes that kept damaging
it. You saw in that same photo, how large those beaches were,
prior to the critical erosion which has been allowed to exacerbate
due to neglect which has diminished those beaches over the years
to narrow eroded slivers that endanger the upland properties as
well as the inland properties behind them.
Part 5 of this series, I stopped my usual history and educational
direction to talk about "Erika" and how our complacency
regarding storms here is foolish. We may have dodged the bullet
this time and hopefully we will escape unscathed for yet another
hurricane season. However, that does not mean that there will not
come a time when our luck will run out and we will be hit by
hurricanes one year after another. We are talking about safety,
survival, environmental maintenance and proactive measures to
protect all of our investments in our coastal sunshine State.
are those who might say, "The beach has nothing to do with
me. Who cares about the beaches of Palm Beach or any beaches in
Palm Beach County?" I have heard people say, "Beaches
don’t protect us; we don’t live on the beach so that is the
problem for those living directly on the beach-front, not
ours." They are WRONG!! Everyone should care, because those
beaches and their condition have a definite impact on all of us
here in southeast Florida and also those beaches in Palm Beach
County where our readers live. Keep reading my series and learn
why you, too, should become an advocate of beach nourishment and
the appropriate measures to protect one of our most important
resources and investments as well as our safety.
is a known fact that heavily populated areas with coastal
development much like what we have here on the barrier island of
Palm Beach, without significant sand volume to create a sloped
beach with dunes, are at great risk of damage from hurricanes and
storms. When a barrier island has been completely developed, as we
have for example in the Town of Palm Beach, the entire island,
whether you think you live off the beach or not, from east to
west, from the north to south- are all affected by a hurricane
that comes ashore when there are still beaches on the island that
are critically eroded and have not gone through contiguous
adequate beach nourishment projects in order to protect and hold
back the wave action that comes ashore.
to the inland properties, when the island no longer serves to
protect those on the mainland west of them, they will be flooded
and have severe impacts as well.
to sources like The Journal of the American Shore and Beach
Preservation Association (ASBPA), which has been in existence
are driven by a strong desire to protect life and property.
Trillions of dollars in property, structures, (like condos,
co-ops, hotels, private homes and businesses), and infrastructure
overlook our nation’s shorelines."
beaches left alone, will continue to put people, as well as our
cultural, historic, economic and environmental resources at risk
for damages from hurricanes and coastal storms."
physical characteristics of the coastline, tides and other factors
can affect what happens when a storm makes landfall on an eroding
beach. While the width of the beach affects wave attack, the
elevation of the beach affects storm surge, which is a higher than
normal rise in sea level caused by high winds topped by waves.
Storm surge can inundate and destroy coastal areas (and barrier
islands). The higher the storm surge, the closer the water and
waves are to more people and property."
an eroding beach at a low elevation, even a modest storm surge can
cause significant damage."
would also like to thank Daniel Bates, Deputy Director of Palm
Beach County Board of County Commissioners Department of
Environmental Resource Management, Environmental Enhancement &
Restoration. Deputy Director Bates’s assistance with providing
me resources and information has and continues to be invaluable to
this series we have learned a great deal about our coastline, the
risks that we face because of the critical erosion of our
beachfront and the necessity of restoring it for our protection.
order to reverse the critical erosion of our beaches, adequate
amounts of appropriate quality sand must be placed on our beaches.
These beach nourishment projects must be accomplished to protect
the life and safety of the residents who live on barrier islands
and the mainland as well as the natural and irreplaceable
resources and financial investments contained within.
need to be proactive instead of reactive in protecting our
shoreline. Those of us who have lived in this locale of Florida
for over 10 years still have vivid memories of Hurricane Wilma! We
may have been fortunate in some of our situations because the
category and severity of Wilma could have been so much worse.
However, we still experienced great damage to our homes and
our barrier island shoreline should be a TOP Priority for the
State, Municipality and Town’s "Wants and Needs List".
Tax Money that is spent on inadequate and "quick fix"
beach nourishment projects is wasteful and totally ineffective!
Part 6 of my series, I explained that if you live anywhere on a
barrier island, you are endangered by poor maintenance of the
beaches of the coastline here in southeast Florida.
addition, those who live inland are negatively impacted if the
barrier islands, which nature created to protect the mainland, do
not have enough beach quality compatible sand placed through
properly designed beach nourishment projects onto the beaches as
the ultimate protection required for the various levels of
hurricanes and coastal storms.
my series winds down I will present additional information to
support why beach nourishment is a necessity for all local
Journal of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association,
(ASBPA) adequately states that, "Healthy beaches not only are
important to our quality of life, but also protect people and
property along the coasts from hurricanes and coastal
explicitly ASBPA says that, "A beach’s size, shape and
sand volume help determine how well the beach can protect
the developed area during a storm. All the various elements of a
beach, such as …..dunes….even the width and slope of the beach
itself, offer a level of natural protection against
hurricanes and coastal storms by absorbing and dissipating the
energy of breaking waves, either seaward or on the beach
to the sand moving downdrift — like man-made inlets, large
piers, groins with downdrift beaches that have never been
renourished — cause sand and sediment to be taken far off shore
where waves can not return it to the beach! The result is the
shoreline recedes or moves inward becoming more and more eroded
until it is left in a critical condition.
have concluded that these facts along with a combination of sea
level rise produce larger waves that break closer to land. An
example of the severity of this condition is in the south end of
the Town of Palm Beach. Some of the beaches in this area have
NEVER received beach nourishment. In addition, there are areas
that received inadequate nourishment. Erosion and shoreline
recession occurs as a result of inadequate beach nourishment. This
situation causes tremendous negative consequences for property,
investments, and life and safety conditions. Unless our local
Municipalities, the County or the State, along with our Federal
Government, take action before we are hit with hurricanes, our
shoreline and homes are vulnerable.
has been stated so perfectly in ASBPA Journal, "Measures
designed to protect our nation’s coasts and prevent and reduce
damages ultimately cost less than federal disaster assistance and
insurance payouts if overwhelming economic losses occur after a
question is, "WHY ARE THESE BEACH NOURISHMENT PROJECTS NOT
DONE PROPERLY SO AS TO AVOID A CATASTROPHE?" Instead of
wasting tax dollars on inadequate piecemeal projects,
responsibility must be taken to adequately protect with a
contiguously nourished coastline. Climate Change demands it! Beach
nourishment is a NECESSITY not a choice!
be continued. Be well and stay safe.
Part 7 of this series, I mentioned that I plan to present to you,
our readers, additional information to support my assertion that
contiguous, adequate beach nourishment projects are a necessity
for our local shoreline and for the safety and survival of the
residents and tourists as well as for the preservation of the
are living in a time of Climate Change. Beach nourishment on a
barrier island that has a critically eroded shoreline is a
NECESSITY, not a choice!
need to acknowledge that it is more cost effective, in the long
term, to conduct beach projects that use sand sources which are
compatible with the native beach sand! This sand will adhere to
the shoreline, accumulate faster and be less subject to erosion.
This also will enable a municipality to spend less on the back end
while maintaining the restoration of the beaches and also the
dunes that accompany them.
process would replace the spending of our tax dollars by
municipalities on inadequate piecemeal, "quick fix"
projects, which have been instituted to placate the public. These
are not only wasteful, but proved ineffective!
last week, Hurricane Joaquin passed by our area, but pretty far
offshore as it moved northward. Locally, along the ocean and
Intracoastal, there were areas on both the east shore and west
bank of the island, where the tides were high creating areas of
minor flooding and standing water. Some areas even experienced
beach erosion! The message here is that we need to realize that we
are totally vulnerable to a category storm or hurricane and the
negative impacts that follow. We need to consider the major
flooding and damage that has occurred in South Carolina from this
storm. We were lucky this time. Can we be so sure the next time?
Part 7 of this series, I described how barrier islands protect the
mainland. The Journal of the American Shore and Beach Preservation
Association (ASBPA) says, "Rising water can inundate low
barrier islands, cut a new inlet and wash sediment inland."
This type of inlet is commonly referred to a "breach".
On the island of Palm Beach, residents should be aware that a
"breach" could occur at the narrowest parts of the
island, such as Sloan’s Curve or even south of the Lake Worth
Journal (ASBPA) also states that "Waves can attack the base
of a dune or create vertical cuts that erode the dune completely,
exposing people and property to potential damage. Waves can scour
sediment from around structures and pilings and strip bricks off
we are talking about the possibility of a "breach" or
water intrusion, the fact is as confirmed by the Journal of ASBPA,
that "Erosion can undermine slabs,
which can fail and damage homes. Even property farther inland is
at risk as shorelines (beaches) continue to recede and dunes
collapse, since the storm surge’s fast moving water can rapidly
inundate and destroy structures behind the beach."
proof that this is not just theoretical rhetoric was cited
graphically in the ASBPA Journal, that, in 2004, Hurricane Ivan
caused the shoreline on both the Alabama and Florida Panhandle
coasts to recede 40 feet and produced up to 165 feet of erosion in
some areas! The Journal then describes how dunes that were 30 feet
high were eroded to just 2 feet! "Ivan’s storm surge washed
over the low-lying barrier islands near Gulf Shores, Alabama,
transporting sediment and cutting a new inlet! SEVERAL MILES EAST,
WHERE BARRIER ISLANDS RODE HIGHER, DUNES ERODED, UNDERCUTTING AND
TOPPLING FIVE-STORY CONDOMINIUM BUILDINGS."!!
direct parallel is, according to all the flood maps, the barrier
island of Palm Beach that includes the entire Town of Palm Beach,
is a "low-lying barrier island"! This means that the
Town of Palm Beach, which manages its own shoreline, must
confront the reality that this scenario which took place in the
Panhandle can unfortunately occur right here! This can occur
because of the many existing critically eroded areas of Palm Beach
shoreline that have either never received beach nourishment or
been provided insufficient nourishment of the beaches.
prevent such a catastrophe before it is too late!
next time, be well and stay safe. More to come next time, so, stay
as the hurricane season is coming to a close, the largest
hurricane to hit the western hemisphere, Hurricane Patricia, made
land fall in Mexico. When it came ashore it had 165 mph winds and
was a CAT 5 storm. Fortunately, the mountain ranges Patricia
encountered caused it to break apart, becoming a tropical storm as
it headed towards Texas! With our flat terrain here, what would it
have been like if it hit southeast Florida? Ironically, this was
the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Wilma! Many of us recall that
Wilma was a mere CAT 1, although some say it was a borderline CAT
2 storm! As we all might remember, Wilma did great damage here in
to the Journal of the American Shore and Beach Preservation
Association (ASBPA), "Beach Nourishment adds sand to the
coastal system, protects people and properties from the effects of
hurricanes and coastal storms by widening a beach and advancing
the shoreline seaward". The Journal says that "outside
sources" are used to "restore an eroding beach".
That could mean many things, including in some areas of shoreline,
the use of upland sand sources as Palm Beach County plans to use
in the Towns of South Palm Beach and Lantana. Let’s awaken the
Town of Palm Beach to use this source in some areas of their
the ASBPA Journal says that through nourishment, "a beach is
constructed where only a small beach or no beach existed.
Ultimately, beach nourishment widens a beach and advances the
shoreline seaward." "The wider, nourished beach which
slopes gently downward below the water and the taller sand dunes
protect the shore by acting as naturally protective buffers. The
gradual slope of the nourished beach causes waves to break in
shallow water as they begin to feel bottom. As water rushes up the
beach, wave energy dissipates." "To ensure that a
nourished beach continues to provide protection and mitigate the
effects of hurricanes and coastal storms, the project must be
supplemented with additional quantities of sand, called periodic
course, without ever making the attempt to adequately and
contiguously nourish these critically eroded beaches, our
officials are leaving not only the coastline, which is a huge
natural resource in Florida, but the population and tax payers
extremely vulnerable to harm.
Bates, Deputy Director of the Palm Beach County Dept. of
Environmental Resources Mgmt., Environmental Enhancement &
Restoration, told me that: "The more sand, the more
protection for buildings beyond." According to Bates,
"Dunes are a storehouse of sand providing the extra
protection to the beach." But, he says, "Dunes alone are
not enough!" He says, "The most efficient and effective
is a dune and a berm. "(Deputy Director Bates defined that
"a berm is the flat portion of the beach.")
would hope that the Town of Palm Beach, who does its own shore
protection outside of the auspices of Palm Beach County, would
realize that, a dune alone project in any stretch of critically
eroded shoreline, especially those that have never received any
beach nourishment, is totally ineffective and unacceptable for the
shoreline, the properties and resident’s investments against
hurricanes and coastal storms.
to the ASBPA Journal, "without beach nourishment, the
starting point for damage would be farther onshore: a nourished
beach, with sufficient sand volume and healthy dunes, absorbs the
storm’s energy, even during slow-moving storms and helps prevent
damage to structures and infrastructure."
nourishment projects can have multiple benefits. Besides
mitigating coastal erosion and protecting life and property,
through hurricane and storm damage reduction, beach nourishment
projects can provide environmental, recreational and aesthetic
benefits. For example, nourishing and widening an eroding beach
can 1- Protect threatened or endangered plants in the dune area;
2- Protect habitat behind the dunes or next to the beaches; 3-
Create or restore habitat lost through erosion, for sea turtles,
shorebirds and other beach organisms; and 3- Create new nesting
areas for endangered sea turtles and spawning grounds for other
species. Beach nourishment projects also can create and sustain
wider beaches for recreational activities … and protect
infrastructure enjoyed by tourists. Healthy beaches not only are
crucial to the nation’s travel and tourism industry, but also
can help revitalize local economies by increasing property values,
condominium rentals, retail sales and demand for services" in
the hotels, jobs, etc.
closing, according to the American Shore and Beach Preservation
Association Journal, "NOURISHING AN ERODED BEACH IN A HIGHLY
DEVELOPED AREA, ALLOWS NATURE TO TAKE ITS PROTECTIVE COURSE.
HOWEVER, IF WE DON’T TAKE CARE OF OUR NATION’S BEACHES, THEY
WILL LOSE THEIR NATURALLY PROTECTIVE FUNCTION, PUTTING PEOPLE
PROPERTY AND THE ENVIRONMENT AT GREAT RISK"!
are painfully aware through this series, that our shoreline is
indeed "highly developed" on these low lying barrier
islands and also on the mainland. Adequate and effective
contiguous beach nourishment is essential and paramount in order
to protect life, safety and our economy.
to the fact that this series has been detailed and covered several
critical points, it will close summarizing and reviewing things to
tie this imperative subject up for you, our Condo News
readers. Until then, be well and stay safe.
Part 10 CONCLUSION.
journalist was stunned and outraged when I read that this week the
Town Council of Palm Beach will consider their Town staff’s
"bare bones" shore protection option to save monies at
the expense of those that have never received beach nourishment
for their critically eroded beaches!
areas such as the south end of the Town of Palm Beach, where the
beaches have been designated by the State of Florida as
"Critically Eroded", it is essential to provide adequate
beach nourishment using quality sand sources that match the native
beach sand! This is a situation which exists in areas along the
south end shoreline that is a life and safety issue as well as an
environmental one, which requires a beach nourishment project that
will be engineered and constructed properly and periodically
renourished. It is neither prudent nor long term cost effective to
consider a "bare bones" shore protection option in an
area that has been designated "critically eroded" and
has never been nourished!
is hoped that the Town officials will have the wisdom and the
courage to recognize that there are no short cuts in shore
protection. The solution lies in finding better, more sound
coastal engineering options that are proven to prevent erosion
and, most importantly, protect the upland properties. This option
of adequate beach nourishment will be more cost effective in the
addition, at the narrowest areas at the south end of the Town of
Palm Beach, as explained in Part 8 of this series, rising water
can inundate and cut new inlets or a "breach" because of
areas of shoreline that have never been nourished or have had
piecemeal or quick-fix ineffective projects.
that beach nourishment is the only sound and responsible answer to
protection is cited in the Journal of American Shore and Beach
Preservation Association (ASBPA): "During Hurricane Fran
in 1996, no structures were destroyed and no oceanfront
development endured significant damage at Wrightsville Beach,
N.C." the site of a nourishment project. However, the ASBPA
Journal also describes that in contrast, "On Topsail Island,
an unprotected area, the shoreline eroded and the dunes and
hundreds of structures were destroyed."
to the Journal, "beach nourishment projects work by allowing
the destructive forces of waves to strike the beach instead of the
structures and infrastructure behind the beach."
series has described the different levels of hurricanes and has
provided the documentation that supports the necessity for
properly designed adequate beach nourishment to protect Palm Beach
Island a low lying barrier island with thousands of residents,
their properties and infrastructure.
you have missed any parts of this MUST READ SERIES, with its
documentation of the need to support beach nourishment to prevent
storm damage, I urge you to go online at: Condos
of S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach, FL
below by Madelyn Greenberg unless otherwise stated
Purple Bus Rides Around PBC and Honors Our Local War Heroes
Bus -- both sides
Mates’ family, l-r: Twin granddaughter Annmarie Morris,
granddaughter Mary Wooddruff, daughter Barbara Morris, Donald
Mates, daughter Carol Caneela, granddaughter (mom) Audra Smith,
adorable great granddaughter, Sunny Smith,
granddaughter Lucy Morris,
local war veterans, who are each recipients of a "Purple
Heart", live along South Ocean Boulevard. Donald Mates, Eric
Ahronheim and George Fisher are among the 24 veterans who have their
photos lining a purple Palm Tran Bus, that makes rounds in Palm
Beach County, to honor our Purple Heart recipients.
"Purple Bus" is dedicated to local Palm Beach County
veterans who were awarded the Purple Heart. The head shots that line
the outside of the bus as giant billboards, each represent different
branches of the military spanning from WWII, Vietnam, Korea, Desert
Storm, Afghanistan to Iraq. The bus does not list names of each
veteran, but rather their branch of service and what war/conflict
they fought in.
"Purple Bus" is advertising that there are many services
out there, with phone numbers which are listed and other info about
the County’s services in this regard.
is an important goal, because Palm Beach County still has veterans
who seem unaware of the various service afforded to them.
just so happens that three of these valiant heroes are neighbors of
mine on the Boulevard. Donald Mates lives at my condominium
association at 3360 S. Ocean Blvd.
is a World War II veteran who was in the battle of Iowa Jima, was
severely wounded and is not only lucky to be alive, but at 89 years
young. I can attest to the fact that he works out in our condo gym
six days a week for three hours a clip and puts me to shame in his
endurance and determination. That makes sense, because Don is a
Marine, who survived ungodly wounds and years of surgery and went on
to lead an active and successful life in business and politics.
Mates is the Commander of the Division of Human & Veteran
Services and the local Military Order of the Purple Heart. Mates is
enthusiastic about the "Purple Bus" and the reason it is
on the road. The bus is part of a public service announcement, but
this one is "on wheels". Palm Beach County is home to
almost 100,000 veterans that span from WWII, all the way to the wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan. Out of those many vets, 222 of them were
awarded the Purple Heart.
Fisher who lives at the Claridges on South Ocean Boulevard, is often
featured in the Condo News articles about veterans and was
awarded the Purple Heart. George said that the "Purple Bus is
just a fabulous piece of work." He is pleased to have his face
on the side of the bus and told me with pride that the inscription
on the bus says, "This is Purple Heart Country." George
was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII and, the branch of
service he was part of was the US Army, under George Patton. George
Fisher told me how he lost many of his comrades in the war and they
will continue to "march with him, but their footsteps make no
sounds." George says that those soldiers that he fought with
that never made it home, but "will always be with him".
is 90 years old and told me with pride that he has been married for
68 years. Like Mates, Fisher volunteers his time and leads groups of
veterans. All of these men share camaraderie with each other, which
only veterans can understand.
third S. Ocean Blvd. condoite that lives nearby at the Barclay, is
Eric Ahronheim. Eric served in the US Army infantry and was awarded
the Purple Heart after he was wounded at Luzon in the SW Pacific in
the Philippines during WWII. Eric as the others I’ve described was
18 years old when he went into battle. He is now 90 years old. At
one point Eric Ahronheim was like Donald Mates is now, the Commander
of the local Purple Heart chapter.
said that the Purple Bus "is great to advertise the Purple
Heart chapter and let veterans know they can get help. It brings it
to people’s attention and that is always a good thing".
Ahroneim is referring to the fact that the bus also shows that there
are services available and phone numbers to call.
Mates, George Fisher and Erick Ahronheim are all lucky that they
survived the war and lucky to still be kicking. It is my hope that
they are doing just as well seven to ten years from now. We have to
make sure as a nation not to forget all of our war heroes and the
"Purple Bus" is a way of saluting our veterans and showing
respect for the Purple Heart survivors.
Suggestions/Reminders for the Snowbirds Headed Out of Town- Part 1
those of us who reside in Florida know, at this time of the year
the snowbirds fly north. For those full-timers like me, that means
no long lines at the restaurants, and less traffic on the roads.
There are most definitely advantages, to having an easier time
making doctor’s appointments and avoiding the crowds. The down
side is that many businesses have a tough time keeping their heads
the snowbirds leave there are off-season layoffs. Most negative of
all, is the fact that we have to endure the stress of another
hurricane season. We have been extremely lucky for years, but lets
hope that our luck holds out for another year.
for our neighboring snowbirds, there is a need to make a plan for
leaving your condominium for the many months of our hot summer. It
is not as simple as closing the door, turning out the lights and
having no worries until you come back in October, November. There
are homes left vacant for up to six long hot months during
hurricane season. You have got to have as detailed a plan as those
of us evacuating or hunkering down during a foreboding hurricane.
have some suggestions that come from years of being a flake,
(snowflake that is), prior to my moving down here full time around
eighteen years ago. Plus, having been on the board of my
condominium, serving two years as president with the worst timing
of anyone, during those two years of infamy, Hurricanes Frances,
Jeanne & Wilma. I can honestly say that those homes that were
left vacant needed pre-planning and attention during not only
hurricanes, but just as much during the many months that homes are
I present to you our readers, are just suggestions not mandates.
The following information comes from personal experience from over
twenty eight years that I have been coming back and forth, first
as a snowflake, before becoming a full timer. I have found that
when leaving my apartment for months at a time, that whether you
have a humidistat on the wall that can be set so that the a/c goes
on if the humidity level reaches a certain point or not, the very
best thing to do, (though not as economical) is to keep your air
on all of the time. Run you’re a/c at least 78 degrees and keep
the fan on auto. When I used our humidistat, the apartment was hot
as can be, and mildew grew on some of our carpeting. Damp Rid
helps, but the best thing for your furniture, mirrors and such is
to keep the a/c running.
the water off with a cut-off valve. Unplug your hot water heater,
or shut it off, and do the same with its fuse in your fuse box.
Make sure to change you’re a/c filter and use a high performance
pleated one that can last for up to three months. Buy a few extras
and leave them close by your return. Purchase some of those
absorber noodles that we discussed during my hurricane series, and
put them in your interior sliding glass door tracks to suck up the
water that might come in from wind driven rain.
part 2, I will continue with some suggestions and reminders for
snowbirds that are on their way out of town.
safe and be well.
Rated Town of Palm Beach Fire Rescue Among the Country’s Finest
some of you may know already, the Town of Palm Beach’s essential
services are independent of Palm Beach County. Their Fire Rescue
and paramedics are employees of the Town of Palm Beach. Over the
years I have written many articles about the programs that they
have had, just like the Police Department, and the exemplary
services they provide for the residents of the Town.
during an evaluation by Insurance Services Office, a company that
provides underwriting and rating information for the insurance
industry, the Town of Palm Beach Fire Rescue received the elite
Class 1 status. The Town’s Fire Rescue were among the 102 fire
protection areas out of 48,000 surveyed in the country that
received the highest rating available.
to the Town of Palm Beach and the Fire Rescue.
a result of this public protection classification, it helps
establish appropriate fire insurance premiums for commercial,
industrial and residential properties. It also provides an
objective countrywide standard which assists fire departments
budget and plan for equipment, training and their facilities. The
fact the Town of Palm Beach scored 91.32 points out of 105.5
points during an insurance audit, is something to be extremely
advantage to property owners in the Town of Palm Beach is that
this rating will give them access to some of the lowest insurance
rates from fire-loss insurance because of the Town’s excellent
fire protection services.
new rating will take effect on August 1, 2015.
personally have a soft spot for the Fire Rescue, because my
wonderful Dad was a New York City Fireman in his younger days. As
you may recall if you have been reading my column over the years,
I used to avail myself of the services that the fire rescue
provides to Town residents. I called the non-emergency number so
many times over the years as a caregiver for my sweet parents, I
lost count. They always came swiftly and, besides their life
saving skills, these men and women always showed immense
compassion when continually helping to either lift my mom or dad
and when it became necessary and I called 911, they did an
exceptional job in their paramedic capacity.
may have been a minor detail to the fire fighters that answered my
calls, but in those non emergency responses, what I still find so
heart warming is the fact that the fire rescue paramedics always
remembered that my dad was "one of us." They always
stayed just a little bit long and spent time talking to him about
the old times for firemen like my dad. They listened to his
stories and showed him the utmost respect and treated him like a
firefighter brother and colleague. That was special to me and I
will always remember their kindness.
personal story demonstrates not only the professionalism of our
fire rescue employees, but also their commitment to provide the
highest level of service to our community and our residents. What
my personal story demonstrates is the fact that it is not just a
job for our Town’s essential services employees, like our fire
rescue. They really care about the residents of our Town. That
says a great deal to me about these men and women.
have always said, and over the years spoken before the Town
Council, that the Town of Palm Beach’s essential services set
the bar for all others and provide Town residents with a
"Platinum Standard" of services. I am proud to see that
with their newest top rating of the Town’s Fire Rescue, that I
have been proven right.
to remind you all, if you are a property owner or resident of the
Town of Palm Beach, don’t forget to let your insurance company
know about this newest top rating and see if you can take
advantage of a lower insurance rate for fire-loss because of the
Town’s exception fire protection rating.
next time, stay safe and be well.
Identity Theft E-mail Scam Making The Rounds
appears that everyday a new scam or attempt at identity theft
comes our way. Some come from phone calls that claim to be after
you for something you did not do properly with claimed criminal
consequences. Others come through e-mails. With e-mails there are
all different types of scams and also attempts to get you to click
on a link and release a computer virus that will do immense
seems that in today’s technologically advanced world, varying
identity theft crimes and scams are constantly perpetrated on the
hapless public. We have to be ever vigilant. Sometimes it makes us
overly suspicious. When it comes to e-mails, we become so negative
about these things, that we can delete an e-mail that might be
harmless. I believe though, although this overly suspicious
concern can make you delete some things unnecessarily, it is
better though to be safe than sorry, especially in this day and
ever I get an e-mail, especially ones without subjects and they
have a link included in the body of the e-mail itself, which
encourages the recipient to click on the link. The words within
the link don’t appear to make sense that the sender would send
this to the recipient. I am afraid to click on the link because I
might gum up my computer with a major destructive virus. So, I
just delete the e-mail altogether. One has to wonder how these
scammers get the contacts from the sender’s e-mail lists. That
is obviously where the identity theft and technological advanced
skill set by these hackers comes in.
other week I received something rather unusual from my neighbor,
Arlene Kutis on my e-mail. The subject title was a bit alarming
and when I opened the e-mail there was no link to click on, but
instead a letter was pasted into the body of the e-mail signed by
Arlene. I knew immediately it was a scam in order to get those on
her contact list to send money to supposedly help Arlene out of a
predicament while she was traveling in a foreign country. The
e-mail’s subject was: "Awful Trip!!!" But you see I
knew that Arlene was currently in her condo in Palm Beach, safe
and sound. So, obviously this letter was entirely false. The
following is a copy of the scam content.
am sorry for reaching you rather too late due to the situation of
things right now. I had a trip visiting to Philippines, everything
was going on fine until last night when I was attacked by some
unknown gunmen. All my money, phones and credit cards was stolen
away including some valuable items, It was a terrible experience
but the good thing is they didn’t hurt me or made away with my
reported the incident to the local authorities and the consulate
but their response was too casual, I was ask to come back in 2
weeks time for investigations to be made proper. But the truth is
I can’t wait till then as I have just got my return flight
booked and is leaving in few hours from now but presently having
problems sorting out the bills here and also getting a cab down to
the airport, Right now I’m financially strapped due to the
unexpected robbery attack, Wondering if you can help with a quick
loan to sort the bills and get back home. All I need is ($2,450.00
USD) or anything you can afford, I promise to refund you in full
as soon as I return hopefully tomorrow or next. write back now to
let me know what you can do. Thank you, Arlene.
I had recently seen and spoken with Arlene and knew she was not
traveling abroad. I wondered how the scammers got her e-mail
address as well as mine. When I was speaking with another
neighbor, he told me that he too received this same e-mail, as did
our condo office. I had no idea who received this bogus e-mail
from a couple of weeks ago. I had left a message on Arlene’s
machine warning her and forwarded the e-mail to her. First of all,
even the content seemed unlike Arlene, because she is an author
and a skilled writer, therefore it did not appear like anything
she would write. As you may recall, I interviewed Arlene Kurtis
some months back and wrote an article and review of her novel,
"Lila’s Hamsa." Although Arlene’s novel was a
riveting story about love and deception, I knew that this e-mail
was in no way written by the same person as who penned the novel.
It was a poorly written scam letter and something that someone
with Arlene’s fine character would never get involved in, even
if she were, God forbid, in that type of predicament.
recent conversation with Arlene this past weekend, she told me
that she never received so many calls from people that she had not
heard from in years, even distant relatives who contacted her when
they received this e-mail and called to check if Arlene was okay.
Arlene’s son got the same scam from his mom and of course knew
right away his mother would never sign her name to him like that,
aside from anything else. Arlene told me that for weeks she has
been receiving calls from neighbors, friends, relatives and
acquaintances, which apparently were in her e-mail contact list.
Still wonder, how do the scanners hack into that information, when
we have passwords and protection on our computers?
Kurtis told me that ironically the other week she received a phone
call from some one in broken English who claimed to be with the
Internal Revenue Service and told her that they had been trying to
reach her for months and if she doesn’t respond then the Sheriff’s
Department is going to arrest her. It appears that in a short
time, Arlene Kurtis was part of a second scam. This double scam
experience shows how often anyone of us can be scammed in a short
period of time. Some time ago I had written an article about this
exact same type of scam which happened to me as well as a friend
or two of mine. I venture to guess that this IRS telephone call
scam must be paying off for the crooks, if they are doing the
identical scam that I experienced over a year ago.
point being, we must stay ever watchful, even suspicious and, be
wary that we can be scammed at any time and in many different
ways. It can make one a bit neurotic about giving personal
information out on the Internet.
next time, be well, stay safe and be careful not to get scammed.
Story of Survival And Jewish Refugees In Shanghai, China
couple of years ago I went on a trip to China. Among the
interesting sites, one of the special places that I arranged to
visit, was a former Jewish community that became a ghetto. 18,000
refugees who found a safe haven and a home in Shanghai, China
during WWII. The refugees escaped the Nazi’s and they came from
Eastern and Western Europe, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and
the area is still there, all of the Jewish families that lived
there for years, have all left and moved on. I went for a tour and
there was a chapel where the refugees worshiped freely. There is a
museum run by the Chinese and my tour guide told me in broken
English all sorts of information about those times. The older
Chinese tour guide who led me through the area and museum showed
reverence for the former community and artifacts, clothing and the
religion he does not follow. I found this tour where Holocaust
refugees found safety, an exceptional part of my trip.
stories of these refugees and their survival during a terrible
time in the history of the world and the realization that the Far
East in China, treated those that could not easily find a safe
haven, with respect, is a story that I believe regardless of your
religion should be extremely riveting to hear about.
coming Saturday morning, April 18th, Helen Bix, who at 4 years of
age living in Celle, Germany, escaped with her family to Shanghai,
where she lived for the next ten years of her life. Helen will
speak about her experiences at Temple Emanu-El, Palm Beach, on
North County Rd. at about 10:30am.
speaker is presented as part of a Holocaust Remembrance Day event
during Sabbath services which begin at 9:15am.
Bix will tell her riveting story of all the difficult times and
how the refugees built themselves a community where hundreds of
thousands of Jews subdivided living quarters and bought bombed out
buildings and fixed them up, These refugees even built a day
school for their children under the auspices of the British
the refugees made themselves a community life, outside of their
self-made community, there was danger from crime and there was the
risk of catching a disease because epidemics were rampant. Yet,
these refugees found safety when they were able to escape the
Nazis, because they found that Shanghai was an open city.
Emanu-El welcomes those interested in hearing Bix’s story of her
experiences. Helen Bix is now 80 years old. Helen and her family
said that the Jewish ghetto life did not come until the Japanese
took over and all the stateless Jews had to move into a ghetto
area run by a less than pleasant Japanese administrator.
Helen says, the war years left an impact on those that were lucky
enough to survive those years. Helen will tell you that as a
result of her experiences she values every day that she is alive.
Mrs. Bix tries to do as much as she can for everyone. That is
quite astounding, considering what Helen has been through in her
more information if you are interested in attending and listening
to Helen’s story, call 832-0804 or e-mail Helen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will find her story riveting and this is something little
known and needs to be heard directly from the survivors before the
opportunity to speak with them first hand disappears.
to Door Solicitors Need Permits, ID Cards before Approaching
the Town of Palm Beach, door to door salespersons’ need
solicitation permits and a Town issued solicitation identification
ID cards with their photo on it in order to be legal. Apparently,
in Palm Beach there recently have been some problems with
unauthorized people trying to sell things without being
investigated properly and being approved and sanctioned by the
you encounter a solicitor and he can not provide a proper permit
and show you his Town of Palm Beach ID card, direct him to contact
the Code Enforcement Unit at Palm Beach Police Headquarters at 345
S. County Rd, where the individual can apply for a permit.
my opinion, being approached on the street is far different than
someone knocking on your door. If a stranger knocks on your door
and you didn’t expect them, I would be careful before opening
the door. If you do open the door, it is best not to invite a
stranger into your home in this day and age. In addition, if you
have any doubts be polite and tell them that you are going to
check and get back to them, so please wait outside. At that point
just close the door and check with the police by calling the
Police non-emergency number at: 561-838-5454 if you live in the
Town of Palm Beach. All other municipalities have their own non
emergency police numbers where you can call and ask as to whether
these solicitors are legal. If you are alarmed by someone that
approaches you because you feel endangered in some way, just call
9-1-1 for an immediate response.
enough, just like with solicitation phone calls, there is actually
a "no solicitation list" for door to door salespeople
that you can register and then be placed on to hinder those types
of attempts to contact you. Your name will be on a list of those
that can not be solicited. If your address is on the list and
someone comes to the door anyway, they will be in violation of a
town ordinance. Then you should call the police or the Code
Enforcement section of the department and report it with all the
information you were able to get. I do know in the Town of Palm
Beach, they respond rather quickly to your call in order to catch
any illegal solicitors.
only exemption from being required to obtain a permit due to
federal laws is provided to religious organizations. If you are
approached by members of religious organizations at your
residence, it is entirely up to you as whether you make a donation
or not. You should not feel that you are obligated to give any
money to anyone for any reason; it is totally a personal decision.
In my opinion, it is important to see literature and it would be
safest to get an address and check out the religious organization
before sending a check by snail mail to them to assure that they
are legit. You can’t be too careful in this world today.
a Happy Passover and Easter holiday. Until next time say safe and
Revelations about the Costs of Sand
Coastal Engineer Karyn Erickson brought up startling information
at last Friday’s Town of Palm Beach Shore Board Meeting.
Erickson, who is President of Erickson Consulting Engineers, Inc.
explained at a public meeting that the Town of Palm Beach is
currently paying a premium price of $45 a cubic yard for fine grey/black
dredged sand. It is important to note that twice as much dredged
sand is required because of its finer texture.
to the latest information, the cost of coarse mined sand, which is
clean and consistent in texture and size, is less expensive than
the incompatible fine dredged sand. Palm Beach County is paying
$28 a cubic yard for Stuart minded sand. Mined Ortona sand, which
is the most compatible to the Reach 8 beach’s native sand, cost
between $35-$40 a cubic yard.
Coalition To Save Our Shoreline, Inc.(SOS) Beach Nourishment Plan
which was submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for the
federal Environmental Impact Study (EIS) which is in draft form
during the public comment period, requires mined Ortona sand.
appointed Town Manager, Thomas G. Bradford is recommending to the
Town Council and their ad hoc committee, the Shore Board, that the
USACE consider the following items while finalizing the Reach 8
Bradford wants the Army Corps to complete the modeling of the
project with Ortona sand and structures proposed by the SOS. He
also wants to have the Town’s Preferred Projects performance
evaluated using upland grain sand sizes from both the Stuart and
Ortona sand mines. A comparison will then be made of the cost and
performance of those alternatives with the cost and performance of
the same project using the originally proposed fine dredged sand.
response to claims that this would delay the Reach 8 project,
Coastal Engineer Erickson said, "We’re not delaying it to
2017. The process is set right now for 2017. There’s not a
chance in the world you’ll get a permit in four to six months
from those agencies. This project will, under any circumstances
not be built in 2016."
Coalition to Save Our Shoreline (SOS) Puts Their Issues on the
Record with the Town of Palm Beach
by Andy Frame Photography
at 3400 in Reach 8.
and property collapsing
Renaissance in Reach 8.
of pool deck collapsing
severely eroded dunes.
Reef Condo in Reach 7.
Condo at Sloan's Curve. Seaweed shows water line
the base of the eroded dunes.
Town of Palm Beach, in a recent decision, determined that it was
necessary to add "Coastal Matters" to their regular
agenda items at monthly Town Council Meetings. The March 11, 2014
Meeting was the first Town Council Meeting to initiate this.
Council President Pro-Tem, William Diamond, presided over this
Town Council Meeting.
the "Coastal Matters" portion of the Agenda, President
Pro-Tem Diamond gave permission to a town, civilian based
organization, the Coalition to Save Our Shoreline (SOS) to make a
slide show presentation with photos of the critically eroded
shoreline in the southern part of the Town. The southern shoreline
parts of the Town of Palm Beach are designated as Reaches 7 and 8.
SOS Chairman, Richard G. Hunegs, introduced the thirteen photos
taken by independent professional photographer, Andy Frame, by
citing that "thousands of Palm Beach residents live in
condominium buildings that once were protected by wide beaches
which fortified the dunes and shielded the upland properties from
irreparable damage". Mr. Hunegs said that these photos
demonstrate the serious vulnerability of the shoreline as we
approach another hurricane season!
Pro-Tem Diamond and the Council Members proceeded to question the
Town Manager, Peter Elwell, regarding his explanation for this
situation and how the Town could best cooperate with the SOS which
had financed a beach nourishment plan. This SOS Plan, which is in
an area of shoreline called Reach 8, is currently being considered
along with the Town’s alternative as part of a federal
Environmental Impact Study.
photos revealed the serious erosion at Sloan’s Curve to the Town’s
boundary, which ends at La Bonne Vie. Reach 7 begins at Sloan’s
Curve and ends just north of the Lake Worth beach. Reach 8 begins
just south of the Lake Worth pier at Bellaria Condo and ends at
the Town’s boundary at La Bonne Vie.
SOS resident based group formally requested the Town Council, for
the first time, to make the SOS Plan the Town’s "Preferred
Alternative" in the Environmental Impact Study. The SOS Plan
would provide 25 year protection for upland properties as opposed
to the 15 year protection (the equivalent of one Tropical Storm),
afforded by the Town Plan.
The SOS also requested that the Town initiate and implement the
SOS Reach 7 Beach Restoration Project Alternative with Coastal
Structures developed by Coastal Engineer Erickson or the
alternative plan developed by Taylor Engineering, the Town’s
SOS statement to the Council Members also strongly objected to the
omission of funding in the Town’s $85M coastal plan for beach
nourishment in Reach 8 as well as for an Environmental Impact
Study and plan for beach nourishment with coastal structures in
northern Reach 7 at Sloan’s Curve.
Richard Hunegs said, after the Meeting, Town Council President
Pro-Tem William Diamond "made it clear that our positions are
in sync, that is, we all have the same goal to develop the best
possible plan and allocate the necessary resources to obtain the
was a long-awaited, productive and positive Town Council Meeting
for those residents whose properties are at risk and endangered by
severely eroded beaches. Let us stay tuned for results!
Flown Over US Capitol Building Commemorating USMC Anniversary Now
Flies in Palm Beach
and photos by Madelyn Greenberg
U. S. Flag flew over the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC,
honoring the 238th anniversary of the founding of the U. S. Marine
Corps in 1775.
Donald Mates & Richard Hunegs.
Hunegs is president of the 3360 Condominium Association.
Condominium is proud that the American Flag that flies along South
Ocean Boulevard is no ordinary flag.
US Flag that flew over the Capital Building in Washington D.C.
honoring the two hundred and thirty eighth anniversary
commemorating the founding of the United States Marine Corps,
(1775), is now flying at 3360 S. Ocean Boulevard.
flag was presented to Donald A. Mates on November 10, 2013 and was
donated by Mr. Mates.
Mates was born on February 10, 1926 in Cleveland, OH. He committed
to the Marine Corps in high school and was inducted into service
upon graduation in June 1943.
combat on Iwo Jima, Mates served as a personal body guard for the
commanding general, 3rd Marine Division, General Graves Erskine.
While one night-time patrol on February 28, 1945 and March 1,
1945, Don Mates was wounded by hand grenades and a machine gun.
During the next 30 years he underwent a series of operations for
removal of shrapnel and riddance of leg braces.
Mates has been awarded the Purple Heart, Marine Combat Ribbon,
Presidential Unit Citation, American Defense Medal, Pacific
Theatre of War, Victory Medal and Marine Corps League Recognition
is the Founder and Chairman of the Jimmy Trimble Scholarship Fund
dedicated to his friend and fellow Marine who was killed by a
Japanese soldier suicide bomber.
teaches at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center, is a former
volunteer for the Town of Palm Beach Police Department in the
Crime Scene division. Don Mates is also the Treasurer for the
Military Order of the Purple Heart and a finance officer for his
2009, Donald Mates was awarded the Pentagon Combat Service Award
for valor during World War II.
Mates is a resident of 3360.
Representative Lois Frankel Talks About Beaches and Other Matters
Representative Lois Frankel (center) with Claire Levine (right),
2500 S. Ocean Blvd. & Maddy Greenberg (left), 3360 S. Ocean
Blvd., Palm Beach. Photo taken by the Congresswoman’s District
Director, Felicia Goldstein.
a community forum meeting at Bethesda-by-the-Sea, Congresswoman
Lois Frankel spoke. She opened with telling the audience how
important beaches are and that she felt very strongly that
"beaches help to protect the shoreline." Frankel said
that beaches are "magnets for tourism." She also said
that "Nobody should say oh, it’s just about the
beaches." Frankel is clearly a proponent for beach
nourishment projects and as she has said before, "beaches are
the economic engine for the State of Florida and the different
municipalities that are upland of them."
Congresswoman explained to the audience that she serves on a very
important, bipartisan committee in Washington, the Transportation
Committee. She is also on a subcommittee that oversees the US Army
Corps of Engineers. Frankel explained that her committee "has
the ability to get things done." US Rep. Frankel said that
she and her subcommittee are "trying to streamline the
permitting process for beach nourishment projects."
was not said by Frankel at this meeting is that she walked the
beaches at the south end of the Town of Palm Beach last spring
with a Coalition To Save Our Shoreline, Inc. (SOS) board member.
When Frankel viewed the severe erosion of the beaches and dunes,
she said that she was pleased that she "got to see first hand
what she was fighting for." She also gave her word to the SOS
board member that she would keep her eye on the Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) study where the SOS Beach Nourishment Plan
and Design, developed by Coastal Engineer, Karyn Erickson, is a
plan being studied right alongside of the Town of Palm Beach’s
alternative. The EIS is a federal study under the direction of the
Corps of Engineers for Reach 8, south of the Lake Worth pier in
the Town of Palm Beach and South Palm Beach and Lantana under Palm
Beach County’s auspice. Frankel promised to assist with the
permitting process for the beach nourishment project that would
result from the EIS. Palm Beach County, Dept. of Environmental
Resources Mgmt., Deputy Director Dan Bates was also present on the
beach with Congresswoman Frankel and the SOS Board Member. At that
time, Frankel showed a keen interest in the SOS Beach Nourishment
the community forum last week, Frankel also spoke about the fact
that she served on the Foreign Affairs Committee and that although
she has traveled with her colleagues from the opposite end of the
spectrum in the "tea party", she said that they were all
"very collegial" although their political views were so
different. Frankel described that she discovered during her
travels to Tokyo, Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Brussels and other locals,
that people around the world actually had a favorable view of
America and see us as a "Superpower."
spoke candidly about the fact that she felt that tea party members
of Congress using the debt ceiling vote to defund the Affordable
Care Act, did not help America’s world wide reputation. Frankel
said that "the shutdown did not do us any good in terms of
our interests." The US Rep said that she felt that when you
go to other countries and try to tell them how to run their
governments, you lose "credibility when you can’t even keep
your own government open."
to the audience about the glitches in Obamacare and the fact that
over 300,000 Floridians had their policies cancelled by Blue
Cross/Blue Shield because the Affordable Care Act coverage
requirements would not be met. Ms. Frankel said that those
residents "need to buy policies that include the benefits
required by the act." This would include free wellness
Congresswoman said she felt that there is a "moral obligation
to provide health care to the millions of Americans now without
access." She explained that the act will prohibit insurers
from denying coverage because of preexisting conditions, among
other benefits. Frankel said that she felt that "If the
program isn’t working well after it is fully deployed,
legislators should get together and fix it." The US
Representative said she felt that first people need to give the
program a chance and then see what can be done to rectify any
spoke to her constituents in a relaxed and confident manner, yet
very friendly and accessible. She seemed unperturbed by the fact
that she was a Democrat speaking before an audience of
constituents that in the part of the Town of Palm Beach she spoke
in, were mostly Republicans. She made a point of speaking of how
well she works with Republicans and believes that much can be
accomplished with bipartisanship. Frankel even spoke about a bill
that she and a fellow Congressional Republican got passed by
journalist found Frankel’s candid and honest talk as well as her
serious intent to make strides to assist us in obtaining adequate
beach nourishment projects, a refreshing and welcome change from
those that preceded her.
on the Anniversary of Tropical/Super Storm Sandy
year around this time, Sandy blew some 250 miles offshore of the
east coast of Florida and left decimated dunes and added to the
already severe beach erosion in her wake. She worked her way up
the eastern seaboard and became Super Storm Sandy that caused so
much devastation and havoc on the northeastern coast.
most of the municipalities that suffered Sandy’s wrath, there
was a hard lesson that was learned about "vulnerability"
and the importance of righting situations on the shoreline in
order to better protect the beaches and the upland properties
most people hear that they are getting "sand" they think
that all the answers to their problems of
"vulnerability" are solved. I am here to tell you that
that just isn’t so. Sand is a part, an important part as it may
be, to the solution of protection from the advent of storm events
that can put life as we know it in jeopardy. It is not sand alone,
but how much and how it is placed on the shoreline that really
gives the protection that we all seek.
To scatter, dump or bulldoze an inadequate amount of sand onto
already severely eroded shoreline or on a scarped and collapsed
dune system, accomplishes little more than visual satisfaction for
the unknowing layman. Because, the protection needed by the
adequate number of cubic yards of sand per foot, is not being
provided. There are formulas for a properly designed beach and
dune system which must be adhered to if we want to get our money’s
worth out of our tax dollars. There are municipalities, especially
in the northeast, like New Jersey and New York, where we can read
in articles such as the NY Times, New Yorker, Wall Street
Journal and local New Jersey papers and magazines, reports
about their revelations of what must be done to protect their
shorelines and upland properties.
every municipality on the shoreline in Florida believes that
adequate sand supply designed for protection is a priority, has
yet to be seen. What can be clearly seen, are the scarped dunes
that have been neglected and one has to wonder whether adequate
amounts of sand will be placed strategically on the beaches and
dunes throughout the hardest hit areas, in order to best shield
the upland properties from harm.
were indeed very lucky this hurricane season. We were fortunately
spared any storms of "mother nature’s wrath." That
does not mean we are not "vulnerable." Will a
municipality like the Town of Palm Beach, place adequate amounts
of sand on the severely damaged dune systems during their
"Interim" Beach Nourishment project that will be
constructed on the south end this winter season? One can only
surmise that a responsible party would indeed and assuredly
accomplish that. Because, if we don’t, we are wasting everyone’s
time and tax dollars.
SOS Presents Graphics of the EIS "Alternatives"
ON IMAGES FOR LARGER VIEW
the August meeting of the Town Council of South Palm Beach, two of
the agenda items consisted of the important need for beaches which
safeguard the health of the towns in which they are located and
also their role in preserving the coastline of the State.
Mayor of the Town of Palm Beach and a board member of the
Coalition To Save Our Shoreline (SOS) were the guest speakers.
Town of Palm Beach Mayor spoke about the Florida Department of
Environment Protection (FDEP) Beach Management Agreement (BMA) and
told South Palm Beach Council members that the BMA will
"revolutionize" the process of permitting "from
north to south" and "from one project to another".
Mayor Coniglio also brought out a change in the Town of Palm Beach’s
plan. The Mayor said that the projects that will come out of the
current federal Environmental Impact Study (EIS) in Reaches 8, 9
and 10 will now both use "upland sand" sources, such as
Ortona sand for Reach 8 and the shoreline project, that will
constructed by Palm Beach County. This is a departure for the Town
of Palm Beach who up until recently refused "upland
sand" for their modified "Alternative" in Reach 8.
the SOS presentation that followed, mention was made that the
organization was pleased that the Town of Palm Beach had finally
agreed to use an "upland sand" source for their part of
the Reach 8 project. South Palm Beach Council Members were
informed that the SOS and their coastal engineer, Karyn Erickson,
had consistently recommended, for more than two years, that Palm
Beach needed to use "upland sand" because environmental
benefits as well as because it lasts longer. The Town of Palm
Beach had continued to reject it until just prior to the Army
Corps’ p;ublic meeting in August. The SOS Beach Nourishment Plan
for Reach 8, which is now an "Alternative" to be studied
in the EIS by the US Army Corps of Engineers was designed as a
large scale beach nourishment plan based on the use of
SOS is now confident that their "Alternative" will serve
everyone best because it would begin south of the Lake Worth pier
and stabilize a "contiguous beach the entire length of the
project and protect those living in Reach 8 while serving as a
feeder beach for their southern neighbors on the coastline".
The Council was told that this was the essence of what the BMA and
the Inlet to Inlet Pilot Project was created to accomplish.
SOS supplied graphic visuals which showed the three
"Alternatives" to be studied in the EIS process. It was
evident in the graph visual that the SOS "Alternative"
plan stretched the entire length of the beach and would merge into
the County "Alternative" that abuts Reach 8.
subsequent graphic showed the Town of Palm Beach’s
"Alternative" and the County "Alternative".
Palm Beach’s "Alternative" begins with a slim line of
dunes only. It contains beach fill at different levels that
partially front some upland property condos while fully fronting
others, totaling 4 to 5 condos. This leaves the major stretch of
shoreline in Reach 8 with dunes only.
was pointed out by the SOS that, in this scenario, the County
beach nourishment project adjoining Palm Beach’s current
"Alternative" would begin in the middle of nowhere and
would destabilize this entire coastline area. The graphic shows
that the County "Alternative" had illustrations of beach
fill with groins running the entire length of the Town of South
Palm Beach and Lantana to the former Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
SOS large scale beach nourishment "Alternative" plan had
carefully placed two groins in the southernmost section of Reach 8
to hold the sand in place, while allowing for littoral movement of
sand southward to South Palm Beach.
more details on all three "Alternatives", Google the
"USACE EIS Southern Palm Beach Island". You will find
under the Army Corps website both PDF links for the Town and
County "Alternative" slide presentation from the public
meeting and the Coalition To Save Our Shoreline Proposed
"Alternative" for Reach 8.
US Army Corps of Engineers Recognizes the SOS!
US Army Corps of Engineers conducted a public meeting on August
12, 2013 at the Town Hall in the Town of Palm Beach. The meeting
was advertised as a "scoping meeting" which would
provide opportunity for public comments regarding the long awaited
Environmental Impact Study (EIS). This study is essential to the
process of finding the best solution for the critically eroded
beaches in the Town of Palm Beach, south of the Lake Worth pier
and extending to the shorelines of South Palm Beach, Lantana and
the former Ritz Carlton Hotel in Manalapan.
beaches that will be included in this EIS cover a wide area of
shoreline that is managed, in part, by the Town of Palm Beach and
the remainder by Palm Beach County. In this situation, the Army
Corps of Engineers requires the Town of Palm Beach and Palm Beach
County to each submit its own "Alternative" plan for
beach nourishment, to be studied under the EIS.
the Army Corps of Engineers announced at the August 12th meeting
that the EIS will also be studying a third "Alternative"
plan. This third "Alternative" plan will be "The
Coalition To Save Our Shoreline, Inc. (SOS) Plan & Design for
Reach 8" in the Town of Palm Beach. It was submitted to the
Army Corps of Engineers by the SOS. The Army Corps of Engineers
announced, also, that the SOS Plan, designed by coastal engineer,
Karyn Erickson, P.E., D.CE, will be studied by the EIS and will
receive the same consideration and attention, as if it were
submitted by a municipality.
Coalition To Save Our Shoreline, Inc. (SOS) has indeed achieved a
high level of recognition and distinction for its efforts to seek
storm protection through beach nourishment for the thousands of
residents whose properties are at severe risk. The SOS is a
resident based, privately funded organization that financed a
large scale beach nourishment plan and design by a coastal
engineer that they had retained. The members of the organization
supported this beach nourishment plan even though they pay taxes
that funded the Town’s "Alternative."
EIS will now study two "Alternatives" for Reach 8 and
one "Alternative" for Reaches 9 & 10 offered for
study in the EIS and submitted by Palm Beach County.
to the SOS statement read at the EIS public meeting, the SOS
"respectfully submits" that their plan for Reach 8
"meets the standards and criteria that are necessary to
prevail." Also, the SOS statement maintains that their plan
is "feasible, responsible, affordable, balanced and effective
for the long term benefits for all. No other submitted proposals
or plans can be said to accomplish this nor do they constitute the
interests of everyone."
SOS brought out that "endangered sea turtles that come to
nest on our beaches and, because of the scarps and cliffs and the
continually diminishing beach, they lay their eggs and the tide
comes up and washes the eggs away or they lay under the water and
are destroyed. These sea turtles will continue to be lost to us if
man does not restore the wide beaches that sea turtles seek to lay
their eggs, nest, hatch their young and return to the sea."
SOS said, "they are confident that the Army Corps will find
the Beach Nourishment Plan which was designed by Ms. Erickson, to
be thoroughly researched, environmentally suitable and, most
importantly, permitable." They also told the Corps and the
public that their plan, "will stand on its own merit"
and "fulfill the need to correct severe erosion, satisfy
environmental concerns and be a prototype for other successful
beach nourishment and erosion control projects in the
of Palm Beach resident, Larry Goldberg, spoke during public
comments and stated that the Town of Palm Beach’s modified
"Alternative" would give beach fill for only several
upland properties and dunes for the majority of the length of
Reach 8, was totally inadequate and would not protect the
properties of the Town sufficiently, if at all. An SOS
spokesperson stated that their organization agrees with Mr.
Goldberg’s appraisal of the Town’s alternative that was
submitted for study by the EIS. It was also mentioned that the
SOS, since its inception, has maintained that the inadequate plans
that the Town has developed, constructed and now are proposing,
are a waste of their tax dollars and will not protect the
environment nor provide for the safety and protection of those
that are at risk.
Palm Beach resident, Pat Cooper suggested that the Army Corps also
look at the Lake Worth pier and its obstruction to sand flow.
to the SOS for their continual advocacy and proactive tenacity to
protect the thousands of property owners at risk. This EIS and the
three "Alternatives" that will be studied, is positive
and forward movement that hopefully "should result in a joint
project that will serve the needs of the public for now and also
for the future."
Long Awaited Study To Find Erosion Solutions For Palm Beach Island
long awaited federal EIS process for the "Southern Palm Beach
Island Comprehensive Shoreline Stabilization Project" will
begin at a "public meeting" on August 12th, at 5:30 pm,
at the Town Hall of the Town of Palm Beach. At this public
meeting, residents will have the opportunity to comment on the
scope of the EIS. The Environmental Impact Study, which will cover
the areas south of the Lake Worth pier, in Reach 8, in Palm Beach
through Reaches 9 & 10 in South Palm Beach, Lantana to the
former Ritz Carlton, Manalapan.
public notice for this meeting was recently sent by the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers to the Condo Managers along the entire
coastline of Reaches 8, 9 & 10. This is welcome news for
thousands of residents that have been living in jeopardy, since
the EIS process could very well lead to a joint project between
the Town of Palm Beach and Palm Beach County. The Town of Palm
Beach manages their own coastal projects and funding, while the
Town of South Palm Beach, Lantana and Manalapan are under the
beach management of Palm Beach County.
upcoming public meeting and the federal EIS process will be
directed by Mr. Garett Lips, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Project
Manager. At the Monday, August 12th 5:30 pm meeting, the public
will have the opportunity to listen and to make comments and
recommendations about the proposed study and what they believe it
should incorporate. There will also be information provided about
where the public can send their written comments.
of The Condo News will recall the eleven part series on
Beach Erosion and Condos in Peril. You may still catch up with the
series below on this page. The series
explained the severity of the erosion situation that has taken
place in the southern areas in the Town of Palm Beach, South Palm
Beach, Lantana and parts of Manalapan with photos that
demonstrated the seriousness of the beach erosion and dunes from
south of Sloan’s Curve in Palm Beach down to Manalapan.
the series it was stressed that for these areas of shoreline that
are critically eroded, the ultimate solutions will be derived
through a federal process, the Environmental Impact Study, which
is directed by the US Army Corps of Engineers. An
EIS is a description and analysis of all environmentally-related
aspects of a project. This EIS will review a range of alternatives
and actions such as beach nourishment projects that can take place
after the selection of options are studied thoroughly to determine
what will serve environmental concerns and the best interests of
of the dire needs of this entire stretch of critically eroded
beach, an organization comprised of concerned property owners in
the Town of Palm Beach, financed a beach nourishment plan. This
organization, the SOS, has requested that the Army Corps of
Engineers will study their plan as one of the alternatives which
they believe will best serve to protect the environment and to
protect the entire area of shoreline. The name of this plan is:
"The Coalition to Save Our Shoreline, Inc. (SOS) Beach
Nourishment Plan & Design for Reach 8". This large scale
beach nourishment plan was designed by Coastal Engineer, Karyn
Erickson, and will become an alternative that will be studied in
the EIS process.
Environmental Impact Study is extremely important. According to
FDEP Deputy Division Director, Danielle Irwin, "This process
will make it possible for Reach 7, Reach 8 and the southern
municipalities to get projects". Specifically, Fondren said
that "the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for Reach 8 and
Central Palm Beach (South Palm Beach, Lantana to Manalapan) will
help guide the future direction in the Beach Management Agreement
(BMA) with projects such as north of Phipps Ocean Park, at Sloan’s
Curve" in Reach 7. This EIS is therefore of great
significance to those who live at risk with critical erosion and
the fear of Mother Nature’s wrath striking and causing
irrevocable harm to them and their upland properties.
Erosion from T.S. Sandy Severe; Condos in Peril
damage up and down the south end strip of The Town of Palm Beach
on S. Ocean Blvd. from Sloan’s Curve south to the town’s
boundary. Some photos demonstrate the severity of Tropical Storm
Sandy’s beach and dune erosion and the imminent danger residents
are in without adequate shoreline beach nourishment and
are the Economic Engine for Florida
Rep. Lois Frankel with SOS Board Members Carla Herwitz of 2275 S.
Ocean (left) &
2778 S. Ocean. Blvd.,
3360 S. Ocean Blvd.
House Representative Lois Frankel (D-Fla) spoke with residents of
the Town of Palm Beach at a meeting hosted by the Harbour House on
South Ocean Blvd. The opportunity to meet and ask questions of our
Representative came about through Dr. Max Rosenbaum.
House President, Stewart Tabakin, introduced Rep. Frankel to an
audience about 100 people.
focal point of her discussion was the importance of the beaches in
Florida and their source of revenue. The economic engine in
Florida according to the Congresswoman is driven by the property
taxes from the residents, especially those properties along the
shoreline. Wide beaches and dunes attract people to live on the
shoreline and bring tourism to Florida. Frankel explained that the
property taxes from the coastline residents are a large revenue
apparatus as well as the tourism and hospitality. She said that
the monies derived from property taxes, tourism and hospitality in
communities along the coast fund the fire, police and school
departments throughout the State.
said that "these are the reasons why the beach issues, such
as erosion and the need for shoreline protection for upland
properties, are not just local issues." It affects all those
residing in the State of Florida, on the shore and inland.
asked if the Town of Palm Beach uses federal monies to restore its
beaches, Frankel said, that "The Town did not want federal
money to renourish the beaches." The Town of Palm Beach is
unique from the rest of Palm Beach County because they do their
own coastal management which did not include federal monies in the
funding of their projects.
Kurtis, resident at 3360 S. Ocean Blvd., expressed her concerns
and said that her local government has refused to restore the
severely eroded dunes for this upcoming hurricane season. Mrs.
Kurtis wanted Frankel to know about the seriousness of this
situation in the south end of the Town of Palm Beach.
Curran, a Coalition To Save Our Shoreline (SOS) board member and
resident of 2778 S. Ocean Blvd., described how the inlets cause
interruption to the natural flow of sand from north to south. She
described how the Army Corp of Engineers dredges the Lake Worth
Inlet and it dumps the sand 15 to 20 miles out to sea, instead of
placing it on the shoreline south of the inlet. This resulted in
the loss of sand showing in the severe erosion of our beaches.
Mrs. Curran asked for Rep. Frankel’s help in correcting this
situation to get the Army Corps to dump the sand at no cost on the
beaches in the Town of Palm Beach. Frankel said she appreciated
this information and it gave her weaponry to use.
Katz, Reef Condo on S. Ocean Blvd., said that there is a debate
over who should pay for protection of Condo/Co-op shoreline
properties in the Town of Palm Beach. He said the new notion by
the Town is that taxpayers should be "self sufficient"
and rely totally on seawalls for protection from the wrath of
Mother Nature and the ocean. Katz said sea walls cause erosion
issues. He stated that coastal structures, wide beaches and dunes
need to be considered before building giant seawalls to armor the
shoreline. Katz asserted that the upland properties and buildings
serve as protection for the properties behind them and therefore
designing environmentally suitable beach nourishment projects with
coastal structures, wide beaches and dunes in front of the
existing seawalls will serve to not only protect the beachfront
properties, but all those behind it.
writer asked Rep. Frankel for her assistance in areas of our
shoreline that have never had beach nourishment. These areas have
severe, critical erosion and as a result of these conditions, many
of the properties in those areas are in jeopardy. A Federal
Environmental Impact Study must be done before beach projects can
be permitted and constructed. Frankel asked what areas were
referred to that had not had beach nourishment, are being eroded
and were not proposed to get it without an EIS. She was told in
northern Reach 7, or Sloan’s Curve and Reach 8, south of the
Lake Worth Pier. Frankel said that she would do her best to help
us with the EIS process and our beach issues.
Congresswoman advised the audience of residents to "keep
pounding and pounding your officials about the beach issues."
She said "this issue is much too important and residents and
taxpayers should keep it at the forefront." An SOS board
member’s response to me was that they totally agree with
next time, be well and stay safe.
Town of P.B. officials, Coastal Engineers Speak with Residents
expressed their frustration regarding the serious erosion of the
beaches, jeopardizing their properties
shoreline Erosion and loss of dunes shown in photo taken on
3/10/13 looking toward the Lake Worth Pier. This photo was not
taken during a storm.
Coastal Engineer Karyn Erickson, President of Erickson Consulting
Engineers; Richard Hunegs, Chairman of the SOS & resident
& President of 3360 Condo on S. Ocean Blvd.; FDEP Deputy
Director Danielle Fondren Irwin, Beach Management
audience of residents at the SOS Public Service Meeting, (flowing
out to the hallways and standing room only)
March 21st Public Service Meeting sponsored by The Coalition To
Save Our Shoreline Inc. (SOS) was successful in bringing over 300
residents, standing room only to speak with State, Town officials
and Coastal Engineering expertise.
spontaneous response of the overflowing audience of residents to
the presentations led the meeting to a different level. The
residents expressed their bitter frustration and despair to the
long unresolved severe erosion conditions of the beaches and the
loss of their dunes, which they clearly felt put their homes and
safety in jeopardy. There were numerous rallying cries of
"What can be done NOW to protect our homes against this
summer’s storms?" and "How SOON can we have beach
nourishment and groins to protect our homes?"!!
momentum that this meeting took on was quite remarkable. For the
first time, residents had the opportunity to express their total
frustration and, most importantly, they demonstrated the pent up
anger which sent a powerful message to the Town of Palm Beach. The
State, whose Inlet to Inlet regional project is proposed to cover
these areas of shoreline, clearly heard the desperate need of the
residents to obtain large scale beach nourishment projects with
response to the residents frustration at their dire situation and
their dissatisfaction by the lack of action on a beach fix,
Richard Hunegs, Chairman of the SOS said, "This requires
political action because, as the Town of Palm Beach demonstrated
with the Flagler Bridge, to get things done at higher levels, you
have to take action now!"
SOS has declared that this is the time for taxpayers to sound a
rallying cry to save their properties and make a large impact on
the Town Council in The Town of Palm Beach. Mr. Hunegs believes
that shoreline erosion and the jeopardy that exists for the safety
of the residents and the protection of their properties is at the
"apex of all of the Town’s issues"!
Hunegs first called upon Town of Palm Beach Councilman Richard
Kleid, who told residents that if there was a storm threat there
would be sand bags on the way. The residents rejected Kleid’s
statement and were displeased with Mr. Kleid’s announcement that
the Town of Palm Beach could not restore the dunes or put sand on
the beaches during the current turtle season. SOS’s Coastal
Engineer Karyn Erickson, who was a presenter at this meeting,
responded to Councilman Kleid that during turtle season it is
possible to obtain an emergency extension until June 1st.
a result of the anger vented by the residents, Town of Palm Beach
Councilman William Diamond advised that "This meeting should
be transported to the next Town Council Meeting on April 9th and I
will place the SOS on the agenda."
transport the SOS’s Public Service Meeting’s momentum, the SOS
has prepared a Petition to be signed by each resident and
taxpayer. This Petition, which will be submitted to the Town of
Palm Beach Town Council, demands that the town act immediately to
restore the dunes in the south end of the town in order to protect
homes and properties from this summer’s storms and hurricanes.
This is an effort to address the emergency situation that exists.
The Petition also requests that the Town of Palm Beach apply for
the necessary permits to undertake beach nourishment projects for
those areas in the south end of the town that so desperately need
adequate, long-term shoreline protection.
appears that the SOS has immediately responded to the outcry of
the residents at the Public Service Meeting and is actively going
forward to have the Town of Palm Beach obtain the necessary
shoreline protection for their residents.
8: Benefits from the Palm Beach Island
Photo taken by Brian Lee for the SOS; shows the eroded beaches and
dunes south of the Lake Worth Pier at low tide in the Town of Palm
Beach. Much like their neighbors north of the pier, south of Sloan’s
Curve. South of Palm Beach, those municipalities have NO beaches
due to armoring of their shoreline.
l-r are the Palm Beach Hampton, the Palm Beacher and Bellaria
is necessary for all shoreline residents who live in the Town of
Palm Beach, Lake Worth, South Palm Beach, Lantana & Manalapan
to realize that they share a coastline from the Palm Beach Inlet
to the Boynton Beach Inlet. These communities became an island,
the Palm Beach Island, when the two inlets were created.
a result, the coastline of each of these towns becomes
interdependent on the other since sand flows past town boundaries
in a north to south direction, unless interrupted by obstacles.
to the critically eroded beaches on Palm Beach Island and in
recognition of the dependency of every town shoreline/beach within
Palm Beach Island, the State of Florida Department of
Environmental Protection (FDEP), under its Bureau of Beaches and
Coastal Systems, has established the Palm Beach Island Beach
Management Agreement (BMA) as their "Pilot Project".
accomplish the goals of this Palm Beach Island BMA "Pilot
Project", the State has outlined their plan for meeting the
needs of the shoreline of each of the communities involved. The
Agreement will improve the permitting process by monitoring sand
drift, ocean current, sea turtle nesting and near-shore
Agreement will impact 15.7 miles of shoreline from inlet to inlet.
Each community will be required to contribute to the cost of
monitoring in accordance with the percentage of shoreline that
their town occupies. According to the FDEP, "the BMA is
designed to be a cooperative effort among the municipalities
within the coastal cell, (from Palm Beach Inlet to Boynton Beach
Inlet) and the success of the BMA is dependent on the
participation of all the municipalities and implementation of the
cell-wide monitoring plans."
FDEP proposed this regional approach to shoreline protection in
March, 2012. A series of Stakeholder Meetings was held with
representatives of the Town of Palm Beach, South Palm Beach, Lake
Worth, Lantana, Manalapan, Palm Beach County, the Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Army Corps of Engineers.
a journalist, I attended each of the all day meetings which took
place from last spring to late fall of 2012. During the first two
Stakeholder Meetings, it appeared that the Palm Beach BMA
"Pilot Project" would consist of nothing more than to
streamline the permitting process for the renourishment of
shoreline areas where projects had already been done. However,
after the power point presentation by Coastal Engineer Karyn
Erickson, there was a shift in the direction of the BMA.
Erickson, the Coastal Engineer retained by The Coalition To Save
Our Shoreline (SOS) developed a large scale beach nourishment plan
and design with limited coastal structures south of Sloan’s
Curve in the Town of Palm Beach. This plan will also benefit the
coastline of communities that are south of the Town of Palm Beach.
the SOS/Erickson presentation, the FDEP BMA Meetings took on
another dimension. The original draft of the BMA would now include
"Proposed Activities" which are the new construction of
environmentally suitable beach restoration designs and plans for
critically eroded areas along the shoreline that, previously, did
not have projects and would now be a part of the beach management
draft. Deputy Director Danielle Fondren said that "as a
result of the SOS’s ‘bulldog tenacity’ the Department
decided to include ‘Proposed Activities’ which would, at a
later time, be added to the document under ‘Projects Listed’".
large scale beach nourishment plan such as the SOS/Erickson plan
with limited coastal structures, will not only give adequate
protection to the entire section of Reach 8, south of the Lake
Worth Pier, but it will provide sand to the system for their
southern neighboring municipalities.
G. Hunegs, Esq., Leader of the SOS has stated that "As
residents and taxpayers, we need to put emphasis on the need for
our municipalities on Palm Beach Island to fully cooperate with
the FDEP BMA ‘Pilot Project’. This is a one time opportunity
that we have at our doorsteps to protect the most important asset
that we have, our beaches. This is an investment in the value of
our properties. As Florida property owners, we all will be
affected by the outcome of this ‘Pilot Project’ being offered
to us by the FDEP".
stresses that "We now have a rare opportunity that the State
of Florida’s Beaches and Coastal Systems, under the leadership
of Deputy Director Danielle Fondren, has provided us. We, as
individuals and residents of municipalities on Palm Beach Island
must support the BMA in every way possible. We understand that
financial concerns are great but we must look at the long term.
Investing in our future and the protection of our beaches,
environment and upland properties is of the utmost importance and
will be cost effective in the long run".
must strongly urge our municipalities to become proactive
participants in the protection of our shoreline and upland
properties. As taxpayers, we must not tolerate the usual reactive
stance that puts all of us in jeopardy."
7: More Good News Regarding
taken by The Town of South Palm Beach Police Officer, Mark
McKirchy from the pool deck of Horizon’s East condominium with
Ocean Front Inn’s Tide’s Bar & Grill and the Tuscany
Condominium in the background demonstrates the CRITICALLY
ERODED SHORELINE and lack of beach in the Town of South Palm
Beach. Notice that the wave has receded in the forefront, but it
hits the seawalls. South Palm Beach, needs sand desperately from
the beaches north of them. They are in jeopardy, which is easily
seen here. No beach remains for South Palm Beach, unless their
northern neighboring municipality gets a large scale beach
nourishment, which will also feed those beaches to the south of
them. What is needed here is to work together to protect the
shoreline and the homes beyond it.
the January 22, 2013 South Palm Beach Town Council Meeting, the
Town Council, in a motion passed unanimously, publicly gave their
support to the Coalition To Save Our Shoreline (SOS) and their
efforts for beach nourishment.
Palm Beach Council Member Bonnie Fischer introduced this agenda
item and spoke about the goals that the SOS is pursuing to gain
adequate shoreline protection. These include, among other things,
the foresight and vision of the SOS to retain Coastal Engineer,
Karyn Erickson, President of Erickson Consulting Engineers, Inc.
to develop an environmentally sound full beach nourishment plan
combined with limited coastal structures, such as groins, that
will continue down the shoreline and benefit towns like South Palm
was a positive and lengthy discussion between the Town Council,
South Palm Beach residents and Richard Hunegs, Esq., who is the
Leader of the SOS. Conversation ensued regarding the common
interests of the Town of South Palm Beach and the residents who
live in the Town of Palm Beach, on the dire need for adequate
shoreline protection in these long neglected areas of Palm Beach
Island. The Town Council and the audience agreed with Mr. Hunegs,
who said that "due to the severe beach and dune erosion that
exists, the risk to our environment and to our condos is
Town Council and the audience all reacted positively to the SOS
for their "tenacity", as Councilwoman Fischer described
this "proactive" organization. Fischer spoke highly of
the SOS and Coastal Engineer, Erickson. Fischer said that she
"has looked at the SOS/Erickson plan and believes it is a
good one for Reach 8 and the Town of South Palm Beach". She
said that the plan is a "very viable plan" and that it
is "the only one that makes sense".
spent a great deal of time promoting and encouraging the Town
Council Members to become signatories on the Florida Department of
Environmental Protection (FDEP) Beach Management Agreement (BMA)
for the pilot program that will extend from Palm Beach Inlet to
the Boynton Inlet along Palm Beach Island.
Member Stella Jordan said that she "fully supports the SOS
and the BMA and that South Palm Beach should get involved with the
BMA". Council Member Fischer whole heartedly agreed.
Councilwoman Jordan also said that she is "thankful for
everything the SOS has done and continues to do for all the
residents along Palm Beach Island".
second item of good news on adequate shoreline protection came
during an interview with FDEP Bureau of Beaches & Coastal
Systems, Beach Management Deputy Director Danielle Fondren.
Fondren said that the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection (FDEP), Beach Management, endorses "flexible
structures like beach nourishment" and "hard coastal
structures like groins". Fondren said that her Department is
in favor of combined projects and will permit coastal structures
like groins. She said, "Coastal structures such as groins are
an appropriate action". Fondren said that the best results
come when a plan "pinpoints coastal structures, like groins,
in areas where they are needed, like ‘hot spots’".
is exciting news for areas along the coastline that have not
previously had groins or hard coastal structures to hold the beach
sand on the shores. Groins are perpendicular coastal structures
that are meant to slow the loss of sand and the currents and would
still allow for movement southward in the littoral drift.
to FDEP, Beach Management Deputy Director Fondren, "The
Department wants to do what makes sense for the longevity of a
project". This is welcome news to the many severely eroded
areas on the south end of the Town of Palm Beach, the Town of
South Palm Beach, Lantana & Manalapan.
to come in Part 8 of this series. Stay tuned.
6: Beach Nourishment & The Light at the End of the Tunnel
photo taken by Brian Lee for the SOS, demonstrates how the
even at low tide in Reach 8 at the south end of the Town of Palm
Beach, (not too dissimilar from their neighbors to the north of
them in Reach 7), provide little or no protection for the upland
properties that lay beyond them. This photo shows 3200 Condo who
is representative of the major problem that currently exists;
where one decent storm could mean a catastrophe. South Palm Beach
and southward, have even less or no beaches due to their armored
shoreline. For the south end of Palm Beach Island, their only hope
is finally receiving the adequate shoreline protection through a
"large scale beach nourishment project" with limited
coastal structures to give it "longevity." This
journalist, hopes that the LIGHT at the End of the this Tunnel,
shines brightly and these proposed activities BECOME a BEACON of
light for Palm Beach Island.
there is a light at the end of the tunnel for those critically
eroded areas along the shoreline on the south end of Palm Beach
article will address "Who" is responsible for the
planning of such monumentally positive action. Also, in this
article, there will be a discussion of "How" adequate
shoreline protection for these long neglected beaches will be
achieved and finally, "What" produced the light at the
end of the tunnel?
the Leadership of Deputy Director Danielle Fondren, the State of
Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and its
Bureau of Beaches and Coastal Systems, Beach Management, will now
include a LARGE (environmentally suitable) beach nourishment
project at the south end of Palm Beach Island. Such a project has
never been entertained before. It will be included in the
Department’s adopted Statewide Strategic Beach Management Plan
strategy for proposed activities within the Agreement area.
to the "light at the end of the tunnel", Deputy Director
Fondren " attributes the extra attention, the new policy
concepts, the large scale beach nourishment plan concept in Reach
8 and the prospect of coastal structures like groins incorporated
into such a project, to the Coalition To Save Our Shoreline (SOS)".
During this interview, Fondren repeatedly praised the continual
efforts of the SOS as the instigation for this forward motion
and the FDEP’s participation in guiding the Town of Palm Beach
and Palm Beach County in initiating these "proposed
referred to the civic-minded advocacy group, SOS, as a
"bulldog" organization "that had and continues to
have the wisdom to retain Coastal Engineer, Karyn Erickson, to
develop a full scale Beach Nourishment Plan & Design for Reach
8," (which is environmentally suitable and has never been
developed before) "and a second coastal alternative for Reach
7, including the Sloan’s Curve area", which is critically
eroded as well. Deputy Director Fondren "welcomes Karyn
Erickson’s continual involvement in this process". She said
she "respects new ideas like those of Karyn Erickson"
and was "happy to provide a venue for the SOS to have Karyn
Erickson present the beach nourishment plan and alternative".
Fondren stressed that if not for the "advocacy and
persistence" and hands on "involvement of the SOS, none
of this extra attention to these areas of shoreline that had not
been previously nourished, would be happening".
is great news for areas such as those that have previously been
denied the proper nourishment and protection of their shoreline
and their homes in this State. According to SOS Leadership,
Richard Hunegs, Esq., "These areas of shoreline have been
sorely neglected by the Township and Palm Beach County for years
and it is time that they rectify this." An excerpt from the
BMA, "The completion of feasibility/design studies and
associated environmental impact statements for Reach 8 and Central
Palm Beach projects," will be "eligible for State
funding assistance in accordance with the Beach Management Funding
Assistance Program." The Beach Management Division of the
FDEP, besides sharing funding, will therefore become an active
"participant in the entire process;" as Robert Brantly,
FDEP, Beach Management, Coastal Engineer Program Administrator,
said to this journalist in an interview. Brantly said that this is
"something significant" having a "large scale
project tied to Central Palm Beach." Brantly said that, they
"are stepping forward for a project in Reach 8 through the
BMA process to develop a joint project."
to Deputy Director Danielle Fondren, this process will make it
possible for Reach 7, Reach 8 and the southern municipalities to
get projects. Specifically, Fondren said that " the
Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for Reach 8 and Central Palm
Beach (South Palm Beach, Lantana & Manalapan) will help guide
the future direction in the BMA with projects such as north of
Phipps Ocean Park, at Sloan’s Curve" in Reach 7. Finally,
through the Beach Management Agreement (BMA), a pilot project in
the State of Florida that extends from Palm Beach Inlet to Boynton
Inlet, light at the end of the tunnel is within our sights.
Hunegs, Leadership of the Coalition To Save Our Shoreline (SOS),
was proud and pleased by Fondren’s praise and the progress that
we have made. He said that the SOS will continue to retain Karyn
Erickson’s services so that she will actively be engaged in the
process and will make sure that her environmentally sensitive
plans and strategies are included in the final projects that are
constructed on Palm Beach Island.
important information is coming in Part 7 of this series. So stay
5: Historical Beach Data a Key to Protection
view of the south end beaches in the Town of Palm Beach taken at
low tide by photographer, Brian Lee. It shows the beaches in front
of the Meridian Condo at 3300 S. Ocean Blvd. going northward to
the Dorchester Condo. This photo is representative of all the
eroded and shallow beaches in the south end of the Town of Palm
Beach, even at low tide. The photo was taken from a helicopter for
the Coalition SOS by Mr. Lee.
beaches and sunshine in Florida have historically been what has
attracted people to visit and move to our state. The communities
& hotels that line the shoreline also serve as major revenue
and tax assets that make Florida and more specifically Palm Beach
County an attraction for so many people.
or not you live directly on the coast, most residents and visitors
enjoy the beaches. The beaches serve much more than just a
recreational function. The most significant function of the
beaches is, or should be, protection for the upland properties and
for the residents who live there and in the neighboring vicinity.
Richard Hunegs, Esq., who serves as the Leadership for The
Coalition to Save Our Shoreline (SOS), has consistently stressed,
"that we are a society that loves the seashore. The
preservation of our beaches must be the underlying rationale for
properly designed beach nourishment projects that are
environmentally sensitive while giving adequate protection for
upland properties. It is our job as taxpayers to assure that our
beaches, for which Florida is famous, are adequately nourished and
maintained to protect sea turtles, our homes and our
Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Deputy Director
Danielle H. Fondren and her staff are working on the Palm Beach
Island Beach Management Agreement (BMA) pilot project with Palm
Beach County and the municipalities between Lake Worth Inlet and
the Boynton Beach Inlet. Through this pilot project the Department
is coordinating its regulatory responsibilities with other state
and federal agencies, local municipalities, the county and the
public, "to streamline a program to protect the environment
and to provide net ecosystem benefits". According to Fondren,
"The BMA was initiated in part to address coastal erosion and
environmental resource protection on a regional basis. Palm Beach
Island has experienced critical erosion along more than 75% of its
purpose of this series has been to educate and enlighten residents
of Florida and to bring out issues and possible solutions to this
serious crisis that exists on our shorelines. The problem of
severe beach erosion on Palm Beach Island did not just appear
after Tropical Storm Sandy. Local municipalities and Palm Beach
County which are in charge of coastal management for these areas
along the shoreline have watched this situation worsen over time.
months back, Richard Hunegs on behalf of the SOS, in conversation
with Danielle Fondren, expressed his concern that the local Palm
Beach shoreline has become so eroded that not only will our
"friends from the sea" not be able to survive because of
no beach, but he feared for the residents and their upland
properties. He explained that this was "due to years of
neglect in certain areas of the shoreline, particularly the south
end of the Town of Palm Beach". Hunegs expressed that this
"has led to a situation where it will take far less than a
catastrophic storm to devastate and destroy."
December’s BMA Meeting, FDEP Deputy Director, Fondren presented
a "Historical Shoreline Policy" concept that would make
it possible according to her to "recapture shoreline" in
new beach nourishment projects using historical shoreline data.
The Historical Shoreline Policy concept was presented as an idea
of how the FDEP may balance the historical erosion with
environmental resource protection. This "recapture of the
shoreline" could benefit new beach nourishment project areas
on Palm Beach Island according to Ms. Fondren, "given some
areas have seen shoreline recession of more than 200 feet since
main benefit for any of the Beach Management Agreement
municipalities, (Palm Beach, South Palm Beach, Lantana &
Manalapan), may be in providing project engineers with flexibility
to design a project that would afford storm protection to upland
property. Any of the municipalities in the BMA may benefit from
Director Danielle Fondren also said that the FDEP Beach Management
Agreement’s goal "is to use the historical analysis to
improve our ability to manage coastal erosion and environmental
resources. The pilot BMA provides the FDEP the opportunity to
explore historical data and find a balance between the protection
of Florida’s beaches from erosion and the protection of
Hunegs Esq. serving as the Leadership for the Coalition to Save
Our Shoreline said the SOS highly endorses the adoption of the
Historical Shoreline Policy by the Florida Department of
Environmental Protection for Beach Management of our Beaches &
Coastal Systems as a NECESSITY especially for those areas that
have thus far been denied any real adequate beach nourishment
projects. Hunegs commends Danielle Fondren and her staff for this
innovative approach to balance and better protect our shoreline
and the residents of Florida. He also urges all the municipalities
that are involved in the BMA pilot project to give the FDEP and
Ms. Fondren their complete support to initiate this Historical
Shoreline Policy as soon as possible.
4: Seawall "Quick-Fix" —
Harm Than Good?
by Bonnie Fischer, SPB Councilwoman
by South Palm Beach Town Councilwoman Bonnie Fischer,
the waves in South Palm Beach pounding the seawalls.
is the beach?
Fischer, Town of South Palm Beach Councilwoman and resident,
describes how her seawall armored shoreline is under water because
the once deep luscious beaches of South Palm Beach are now so
dramatically eroded that the beach is under the ocean and there
isn’t any sand on which to put sand dunes up against the
seawalls! The waves lap against the seawalls and the beaches which
once were wide, no longer exist except for possibly a slim space
on which to walk at low tide. The seawalls that line the
beachfront properties of South Palm Beach have their own issues;
some are cracked while others are collapsing. The seawall at the
Imperial House, at the Town’s boundary, had to be shored up some
years ago because it proved woefully inadequate.
the south of Ms. Fischer’s municipality, the Ritz Carlton Hotel
in Manalapan/Lantana had serious problems when part of their
seawall collapsed. The private homes in Manalapan, which have
seawalls, suffered tremendous damage to their properties from the
storm, Sandy. Their seawalls did not protect their shorefronts
from the storm that was 200 miles offshore.
definition, seawalls cause loss of sand because they provide a
stationary object against which a retreating beach narrows and
eventually disappears. It is also believed that seawalls may
intensify certain wave action during storms that lead to beach
loss. Wave action is intensified by seawalls rather than
has been much controversy over the role of seawalls. Most coastal
engineers now agree that seawalls are destructive to the beaches.
Corps of Engineers and Fla. Dept. Environmental Protection Beach
Management Deputy Director, Danielle Fondren, both agree that
beach nourishment is the environmentally preferable alternative to
seawalls and as the method of choice in responding to beach
erosion. Also, planting vegetation with beach replenishment
nourishment instead of building seawalls has proven to be much
more successful in halting beach erosion. Nourishing/re-nourishing
beaches are a critical decision in this time of rising sea levels.
Once a nourished beach is in place, storm waves must fight the
sand absorption of the beach and dunes before they can reach the
the fate of sea turtles is a critical environmental issue, the
renourished beach provides for new nesting areas for the turtles.
Erosion, on the other hand, produces scarps or "cliffs"
that present serious problems for nesting sea turtles which can
not climb the scarps to lay their eggs.
is the belief of Richard Hunegs, Esq. who serves as the Leadership
for The Coalition To Save Our Shoreline, (SOS), that since we are
a society that loves the seashore, we need to be certain that our
beaches are receiving the best and most capable management
possible. Representing the SOS, Mr. Hunegs has been dogmatic about
his belief that in this time of rising sea levels, preservation of
our beaches for future generations should always be the underlying
rationale for properly designed beach nourishment projects that
will be environmentally sensitive while giving adequate protection
for upland properties that belong to the residents of this State.
of the concerns of Mr. Hunegs and the many residents that he
represents, the SOS retained and financed Coastal Engineer Karyn
Erickson to assist them in creating environmentally sensitive
beach nourishment projects with limited coastal structures so that
their town finally gives all areas that lie within it, the
adequate protection that they deserve and require.
seawalls of South Palm Beach have created a situation where the
full beach nourishment project that Erickson designed for the SOS
is needed to provide a feeder beach to give sand to their system.
The seawall "Quick Fix" has proven to cause more harm
3: Positive Progress on Beaches &
System, Thanks to FDEP
above two photos were taken by South Palm Beach Councilwoman,
Bonni Fischer. These photos, taken at the Imperial House, are
representative of the entire shoreline and the perilous conditions
that exist from Sloan’s Curve through La Bonnie Vie in Palm
Beach and continues through South Palm Beach, Lantana and
Manalapan. The properties with sea walls did not fair well, many
cracked, collapsed, had seepage under the walls, and the waves, in
some cases, went over towards the buildings. Sea walls are known
to erode the beaches until there is little or no beach left. The
entire strip of beaches with or without sea walls is in dire
purpose of this series has been to inform and enlighten local
Florida residents of the important issues concerning our
shoreline. This series continues to explain why things have gotten
to this dangerous level; whose responsibility it is for protecting
our coastline and the possible solutions for this major crisis.
a recent Beach Management Meeting held by the Florida Department
of Environmental Protection, (FDEP), three important announcements
were made that are a giant step toward adequate shoreline
protection for our homes. Under the leadership of Danielle H.
Fondren, Deputy Director of Beach Management at the FDEP,
significant strides have been made. These three announcements that
were made by the FDEP at last week’s meeting will have positive
and beneficial ramifications for beach nourishment projects within
the Town of Palm Beach, and will also be helpful to its
neighboring municipalities along the coast. Southern neighbors
like South Palm Beach, Lantana & Manalapan can reap positive
results. Areas like Singer Island and northward can also utilize
what has been presented at the Beach Management program.
Fondren & staff announced that they had decided that a policy
change was necessary. This change has incorporated historical data
on shoreline conditions dating as far back as 1940 which was
retrieved through the cooperation of Palm Beach County. It is
important to note that 1964 was the year that the State of Florida
first recognized beach erosion as a statewide issue. Therefore,
Fondren and staff have settled on 1964 for the retroactive date of
shoreline conditions in order to ease permitting for new beach
nourishment projects. Ms. Fondren explained that their concept
"would affect future nourishment proposals in those areas
that have not currently had nourishment projects". This new
policy would "make it possible for future projects to be able
to reflect back on the 1964 shoreline numbers for beach
nourishment levels". Ms. Fondren also said that this
"gives flexibility to the plans for potential shoreline
projects going out into areas that have previously been unable to
be permitted because of the resources in the area". This new
policy concept is "allowing for some recapture of the
shoreline to occur".
Hunegs, Esq., Leadership for The Coalition SOS, believes that
because of the persistence of his organization, in concert with
others, the state agency, under the guidance of Ms. Fondren, has
made tremendous strides with their intervention on behalf of the
residents of this State. Hunegs believes the FDEP’s stand and
new Historical Shoreline Policy concept will change the face of
beach nourishment and the permitting process. It will allow better
designed protective beaches with greater width to be created as
they had existed years ago. Mr. Hunegs said that the SOS believes
this type of policy shows great foresight and is highly
next significant FDEP announcement by Deputy Director Fondren was
that Florida has a world renowned reputation for their coastal
policies. Fondren said that "the FDEP’s role is to sustain
the beaches with balance". "Our job is to refine our
methods and to find a continual balance". She said that their
policy endorses "flexible structures and a combined effort of
hard structures". When asked in conversation after her
remark, Ms. Fondren explained that "flexible structures
consist of beach nourishment which would also include dunes."
"Hard structures," Fondren said, "are groins and or
breakwaters." That would mean that the State of Florida FDEP
Beach Management endorses both of these as a solution for our
beach erosion problems. This is quite a revelation and it is most
significant and positive.
Director Fondren also declared that the State Strategic Beach
Management Plan is to incorporate beach nourishment plans and
coastal alternatives that were presented to the FDEP, "such
as those presented by Coastal Engineer, Karyn Erickson, with
possible solutions in the Reach 7, Reach 8 area". (Reaches 7
& 8 are in the south-end of the Town of Palm Beach). She said
that these are potential alternatives that can be appropriate.
three announcements are significant for those living in perilous
conditions along the shoreline. Richard Hunegs, the SOS
Leadership, credits Danielle Fondren for these enormous
accomplishments and forward motion. He also credits Robert
Brantley, Coastal Engineering Program Administrator, Bureau of
Beaches & Coastal Systems of the FDEP who works under Fondren’s
leadership. Hunegs especially gives accolades and strongly
compliments Coastal Engineer Karyn Erickson, whom the SOS has
retained. It was the SOS that financed her development of a beach
nourishment plan and second coastal alternative, both with limited
coastal structures. Richard Hunegs says that this is all due to
Erickson’s fine work. The SOS will continue to endorse and to
utilize Erickson’s exceptional coastal engineering capabilities
and knowledge for the benefit of all residents of the Town.
Palm Beach Councilwoman, Bonni Fischer is also enthusiastic and
supportive of the announcements made by FDEP Deputy Director
Fondren. Fischer agrees that they can benefit South Palm Beach and
Hunegs believes that there are now reasons to be positive. He said
that Danielle Fondren is "showing the way" and "it
is now up to the Town of Palm Beach to put its oar in the water to
get this accomplished by adopting the programs that Fondren and
the FDEP have presented." "The Town has to adopt what
has been presented by the FDEP without further delay."
2: What All Residents Need To Know About Who Provides Shoreline
Protection And How Each of Us Can Make A Difference
taken from the rooftop of a condo after T.S. Sandy by Atriums
Condo Manager, Marc Ritcher, shows fast and furious waves knocking
the dunes out at the Halcyon, and overcoming the seawall at the
Patrician and pounding the seawalls at the Claridges and La Bonne
Vie. What looks like sand on all sides of the first sea wall is in
fact the waves crashing over the wall towards the building. This
was only a Tropical Storm. The sea wall does not appear to be
doing much good. In Ft. Lauderdale is has been
that a sea wall collapsed. The sea walls are known to
cause tremendous beach erosion. This area has never been
provided a beach nourishment project as of yet.
taken by Residences at Sloan’s Curve Manager, Ivan Fraser. None
of the condos and buildings within Sloan’s Curve have ever
received a beach nourishment project and there is little beach
left due to severe erosion. You can see that one small surge and
these homes will be flooded out. Sloan’s Curve area is dire need
taken by Atriums Manager, Marc Ritcher. Having never received a
beach nourishment project and having a severely eroded beach and
then little left of their dunes, the Atriums, like their
neighbors, the Halcyon, the Emeraude, 3360 and like those north
and south of them are in jeopardy when another storm strikes.
Condo has the ocean up to what remains of their beach stairs.
Severely eroded beach has never had a beach nourishment project
and the dunes are now eroded as well. No protection here. Photo
taken by Dorchester Manager, Ned Fleming.
is about time that residents who live in the State of Florida and
are taxpayers understand what we can do to help protect our
first thing you need to know is that neither the State of Florida
nor the Federal government provides beach nourishment projects.
That responsibility falls squarely on each municipality. For
example, the Town of Palm Beach has its own coastal management
department. Some shoreline municipalities are under the purview of
their County for providing shoreline management, as is the case
with Singer Island and South Palm Beach which are under the shore
management of Palm Beach County.
Town of Palm Beach will be used as an example for this scenario.
The Town is responsible for the development of beach nourishment
plans and designs that will adequately protect all of the Town of
Palm Beach shoreline so that their taxpaying residents are
protected from a storm event. The Town of Palm Beach should then
proceed to develop the best projects. The Town of Palm Beach has
been fortunate to have the assistance of a town organization,
called The Coalition To Save Our Shoreline, (SOS) which as you
already know is under the leadership of Richard G. Hunegs, Esq.
The SOS has retained a well respected Coastal Engineer, Karyn
Erickson, to design a beach nourishment plan and second coastal
alternative for two areas of the Town. These plans include a
limited number of coastal structures that will hold the sand in
place. These types of plans in these specific areas have never
been developed before by the Town for its residents. The SOS plans
both provide adequate and environmentally sensitive beach
nourishment and have been acknowledged by other coastal engineers
to be viable. The plans have been submitted to the Town, the State
and the County. It is the Town’s responsibility to develop beach
nourishment projects. According to an SOS source, these beach
nourishment plans were developed by the SOS because it appeared
that the Town would otherwise continue to neglect those areas as
they had done for so many years.
process that follows is that the Town goes next to the State of
Florida Department of Environmental Protection, (FDEP), to get a
permit. The State approves the design and then the Army Corps of
Engineers usually follows the State’s recommendation and would
also approve the permit that the Town requests.
there the permitted project goes back to the Town of Palm Beach,
whose taxpayers finance these coastal management projects. Whether
projects are done individually or jointly, neither the State nor
the Federal government is responsible for developing the beach
nourishment plans or implementing them. The State and Federal
governments only grant permits for the projects presented to them.
Wyett, former Town of Palm Beach Councilman for many years and
currently adviser to the NAPB, a north end civic organization that
is in agreement with the SOS, confirmed that the Town of Palm
Beach is responsible, by tradition, for developing beach
nourishment plans and projects which are submitted to the State
situations such as the Town of Palm Beach, the municipality is
responsible for implementing adequate projects that have been
permitted by the State and or Federal government. Any belief or
assertion that State or Federal red tape could prevent Town
Officials from the development of a beach nourishment plan that
has adequate protection would be erroneous.
the projects have been developed and permitted the taxpayers
provide the revenue to protect the shoreline which in turn
protects their entire town.
seems to be some confusion between repairing the latest damages to
the dune system and the development of adequate protective beach
nourishment plans. It is significant to point out here that the
dunes should not be the only defense against a storm. Constructing
adequate beach nourishment projects would avoid this current
Town of Palm Beach has asserted that their "level of adequate
protection" is satisfied as long as the buildings are still
standing, whether or not they are flooded and therefore unsafe and
uninhabitable. This is the Town’s definition of adequate
shoreline protection. In the Town of Palm Beach, two
organizations, (both the SOS & the NAPB), are at odds with
this level of protection as stated by the Town of Palm Beach and
believe it is highly inadequate and unacceptable. It is a waste of
tax dollars to promote projects that pursue the Town’s current
"level of protection".
a resident you can make a difference and find out the level of
protection in your own municipality. Most importantly, stress that
any beach nourishment plan must assure that the dunes will lie
beyond the beach and are the last line of defense, not the
properties and buildings where so many people live. We need to
create beach nourishment projects that will not waste our tax
dollars. We must protect our valuable shoreline and the homes that
lie beyond it.
1: Heed the warning that Sandy left in her wake before it is too
Condo- 3400 S. Ocean, demonstrates the severe beach erosion, loss
of dunes and beach steps. At high tide the ocean is pounding what
is left of the dunes. One good surge and the damage will destroy
valuable real estate and endanger residents.
by 3400 Condo Manager:
dune erosion in front of The Reef Condo, 2600 Condo and all their
southern neighbors. Another storm and the buildings are in
jeopardy. This portion of beach had been renourished in 2006 and
the sand had washed away shortly afterwards and along with
taken by 2600 Condo Manager:
II Co-op. The Town claimed that the sand washed down from
previously renourished beaches to their north to give the
Ambassador a large beach. Sand on a flat beach is not designed to
protect. Look how close to the buildings it is. One good wave and
disaster would be forthcoming.
Dubé, Administrative Assistant checks out the damage.
taken by Ambassador II Manager:
at Sloan’s Curve. Nothing remains of the previously eroded beach
and the dunes have been devastated as much as their beach steps.
The waves are seriously too close. Another tropical storm could
cause severe damage. In desperate need of much better shoreline
by 2100 Condo Manager:
Storm Sandy, which became "Super Storm" as it moved up
the coastline and struck the northeast, should ring all the alarm
bells for those who live in Palm Beach County and any of the
shoreline municipalities that suffered severe beach erosion from
nothing more than a "Tropical Storm."
north, Sandy left behind "Catastrophic Devastation" in
those shoreline communities that were wiped out and totally
destroyed by a fluke "Super Storm" that caused so much
tragedy for so many. The fact that locally, Sandy as nothing more
than a slow moving Tropical Storm, completely wiped out dune
systems, with already eroded beaches in front of them, should be a
"WAKE-UP CALL" for all those shoreline municipalities’
where their residents’ homes at this point are hanging out in
the reports of how some of the shoreline in the Town of Palm Beach
has been left bare from merely a Tropical Storm, makes it
essential that coastal management stops spending more and more tax
dollars on repetitive reviews and studies around which continues
the procrastination that keeps their residents in peril. It is the
responsibility of government to protect the citizens and their
properties before tragedy strikes and wipes out a community. We
don’t want to need FEMA; we want proactive protection so that we
don’t lose everything we value.
the Town of Palm Beach , the most major issue that is little known
by the public is what our Town considers their
acceptable "Level of Protection." The Town thinks it is
acceptable if everything is washed away, destroyed and
"sacrificed" as long as the buildings are still
standing. The buildings can be completely flooded and therefore
uninhabitable, but according to Town standards this is their
acceptable level of "Shoreline Protection."
source from the Coalition to Save Our Shoreline (SOS) says that
both the SOS organization and their ally organization from the
north-end of Town, the NAPB, have a major bone of contention with
the Town of Palm Beach’s failed level of protection for the
thousands of residents that live in this peril. As Condo News
readers are all aware from our last issue, the purpose of the SOS
is to gain adequate shoreline protection for the residents living
on or near the coast in the Town of Palm Beach. To that end, under
the leadership of Richard G. Hunegs, Esq., the SOS retained and
financed well respected Coastal Engineer, Karyn Erickson’s
development of an environmentally sensitive and permitable beach
nourishment plan and design with an additional coastal beach
alternative in two areas of coastline in the town to rectify the
neglect and impending catastrophic conditions that have been
allowed to exist for so many years.
a resident in a local municipality who now understands the
implicit need for adequate shoreline protection, you each need to
contact your municipality and make sure that they know the beaches
should be adequately renourished and designed to be our first line
of defense. The dunes should be the last line of defense, not the
properties and buildings where so many live. You can play a part
in avoiding certain disaster. Contact your municipality and let
them know your thoughts on this matter.
to come ...
Beach County Drenched by T.S. Isaac
band from T.S. Isaac churned up the ocean --
from 3360 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach, FL
by Maddy Greenberg
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