Surfrider Foundation is battling to stop an experimental concrete reefball structure planned for Miami Beach. Coastal armoring wrecks surfbreaks and beaches and we cannot let this happen on OUR beach. Unfortunately, the project is moving forward and we need to do all we can to halt it.

Miami-Dade County Dept. of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) plan to install an approximately 1,000-foot long segmented submerged artificial reef structure approximately 500-feet offshore of the beach at the 63rs Street erosion ‘hotspot’ of Miami Beach. The concrete structure would be installed as an EXPERIMENT to control erosion and reduce wave energy with habitat mitigation. However only an Environmental Assessment was filed under NEPA – not a full Environmental Impact Statement.

There remains a number of outstanding issues with the project, especially the likely impact of downdrift erosion. The 6.5 foot structures would be placed in 8 feet of water right where the waves break on a decent North swell.

Calls to action:

1) Make calls to the following and tell them that you don’t want this experimental project threatening your beach playground:

     Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen    305-668-2285

     Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz  305-963-5724

     Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barriero   305-643-8525   or   305-673-7743

     Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman   305-375-5128  or   305-787-5999

2) Attend the August 31st Community Workshop and get other locals to attend. 

     Local residents and businesses have no clue about this potentially disastrous project. We need the non-surfing community to know what’s happening. 

     WHAT: Community meeting to inform locals of proposed US Army Corps of Engineers project at 63rd Street beach
      WHEN: Wednesday, August 31, 2011, 7:30 – 9:00pm
     WHERE: Ronald W. Shane Center, 6500 Indian Creek Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33141 
     WHO: – Hosted by Surfrider Foundation Miami Chapter for all Miami residents and recreational beach users
                    – Brian Flynn, Special Projects Administrator, DERM, will be available for Q & A
Refreshments will be served.

     1. Budget Concerns

  • Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County elected officials and voters didn’t ask for this “experimental” project
  • The US Army Corps of Engineers has free reign to impose this very expensive experimental project on the local citizens
  • The project is a waste of federal money – it’s unlikely to be successful on its own merits and will leave the local people to deal with the end result
  • The money spent on this could be much better used elsewhere in this time of debt crisis

     2. Safety concerns

  • Submerged breakwaters are attractive to swimmers and they can be dragged over the structures – Tampa area incidents as examples
  • The structures will exacerbate several dangerous rip currents that are already present in an unguarded area of the beach
  • Navigational hazard for boaters

     3. Downdrift beach erosion

  • Could offset any project benefits/potential cost savings
  • Amounts to providing beach width to some residents at the expense of others’ beaches
  • Very unlikely project will really be successful