view of the beach at sunrise with orange and purple sky over the ocean.

Keeping the Beach in Sunny Isles Beach

By Christopher J. Russo, Former City Manager

(June 1, 2015) – Maintaining our shoreline, one of the most challenging issues we are faced with, reminds me of a resort, the Sand Dollar. I would see it on each of many trips to Rhode Island to visit my daughter at college. That property is clearly a reference to the exorbitant cost of keeping sand on the beach.

On December 18, 2014, the City Commission made beach nourishment and erosion mitigation one of the City’s top priorities. City staff has taken a multi-faceted approach to addressing this complex issue. This is a costly endeavor. It is vital for us to invest in doing the proper research and planning to find cost-sharing solutions. We started working with all levels of government (Federal, State, County and local) to find out what has been successfully implemented elsewhere and what our options are. Currently, the US Army Corp of Engineers is working on a project that would potentially dedicate $7.8 million in federal funds to beach nourishment in Miami-Dade County. The State also has a grant program, wherein multiple stakeholder/funding partners are awarded extra points, that funds municipal beach nourishment efforts. Additionally, we have met with the City of Miami Beach to learn about what has been successful for them. Our two Cities share the top priority locations for Beach nourishment in Miami-Dade County. We are also working with coastal engineers to update a 2008 study of our shoreline in order to devise the best short and long term strategies to address this issue, including research of innovative technologies that have been proven successful elsewhere.

It is our goal to present the Mayor and Commissioners with viable options to preserve our beach, our most precious resource, for many generations to enjoy.