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Preserving the Natural Balance of Brevard's Beaches

Port Canaveral's ocean entrance and harbor are man-made. When the inlet was opened, new water and wind patterns were created which reversed the original southerly drift of sand along the Atlantic shoreline. This aggravated erosion of the beaches south of the jetties and build up of beaches to the north. Port Canaveral was the first deepwater port in the state to formulate a plan to minimize or reverse its effects on adjacent beaches. When the Canaveral Harbor Inlet Management Plan was finalized in 1994, it included pioneering sand management strategies that continue to be implemented today through a partnership of the Canaveral Port Authority, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Jacksonville District), the State of Florida and Brevard County.

Strategies include:

  Nearshore disposal of beach-compatible sediment dredged from the harbor. Roughly one-third of this sand has returned to the active beach.

  Sand-tightening and extension of the north and south jetties at the harbor entrance.

The Port Authority continues to be proactive in making inlet improvements, refining dredging practices and renourishing beaches to combat local beach erosion from all causes. Approaching the problem from multiple directions, the Port Authority also has participated in projects to increase native vegetation on the dunes – planting sea oats provides natural protection from erosion. But perhaps our most crucial ongoing role is in successfully courting the federal and state attention and money needed to fund major beach restoration efforts throughout our region.


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