Yesterday the Port of Palm Beach voted to not fund the Army Corp of Engineering Project to deepen and widen the Lake Worth (Palm Beach) Inlet and lagoon.
Previously the federal funding for the project was pulled by the joint efforts of Congresswoman Lois Frankel, Mayor Gail Coniglio, the Save Our Inlet Coalition, and the Civic Association. Now the Port itself has voted to not go forward with the project.
Port of Palm Beach Agrees to Shelve Controversial Dredging Plan
[Civic Association Mention: "In 2014, the Palm Beach Civic Association formed the Save Our Inlet Coalition to oppose the plans. The coalition said the Corps’ environmental impact statement was seriously flawed."]
A proposed $88.6 million dredging and expansion project at the Port of Palm Beach’s harbor is off the table for now, but a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chief’s Report stating that the improvements are needed will remain open until 2021.
On Thursday, the Port of Palm Beach Commission voted to accept executive director Manuel Almira’s recommendation that the port notify the Corps it does not want to pursue the Lake Worth Inlet navigational improvement project to widen two channels and deepen the inlet to 39 feet.
Below is the Port's news release:
May 19, 2016 – (Riviera Beach, FL) On Thursday, May 19, 2016, the Port of Palm Beach Board of Commissioners agreed to exclude funding for a proposed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lake Worth Inlet navigational improvement project from the port’s Master Plan Update.
The ACOE project, along with the economic and environmental backup that accompanied the plan, was published for the port’s review in 2005. As global, regional and state markets; the port’s tenant composition; and the environmental and recreational dynamics surrounding the port have changed, the port’s missions and goals continue to evolve. In discussing the 10-year time span between the study and the Thursday evening decision, the port’s board of commissioners recognized that its Master Plan update will address what it means to be an urban port, focusing on the ever-changing dynamics of the region.
Port Chairman Wayne Richards explained, “With our neighboring municipalities and civic organizations working together to ensure the port maintains 33 feet of depth within the inlet, I believe we can continue a viable operation for years to come and have no need to include funding for an inlet expansion project within our master plan at this time. The port is tucked between four municipalities, all of which maintain residential borders to our facility. Year after year, tourism and recreation around Peanut Island and the Lake Worth Inlet increase and we continue to manage a harmonious existence amongst it all.”
The Army Corps recently completed a maintenance dredge of the Lake Worth Inlet, an annual event, that resulted in the transfer of 200,000 cubic yards of sand onto the shores of the Town of Palm Beach.