Volusia gets $5M for emergency sand placement

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has awarded Volusia County $5 million to help patch up the coastline after Tropical Storms Ian and Nicole.

The county is still determining where to place the sand, but officials will first help areas that received the worst damage, the county's Coastal Division Director Jessica Fentress said.

Fentress spoke about the grant at Tuesday's County Council meeting. The council voted unanimously to accept the grant, which doesn't require any funding from the county government.

In November, Gov. Ron DeSantis directed the FDEP to use $20 million for emergency sand placement to help local governments address dune and beach erosion from Tropical Storms Ian and Nicole, according to a news release.

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Crews work on properties repairing damages from Tropical Storm Ian and Nicole in Daytona Beach Shores, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022.
Crews work on properties repairing damages from Tropical Storm Ian and Nicole in Daytona Beach Shores, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022.

To avoid competing with private homeowners looking for sand as part of their own repair projects, the county plans to get sand from a Florida Inland Navigation District source, Fentress said.

"We are working through an agreement right now which we hope to have before you on the Dec. 20 council (agenda) to allow us to start mining sand from the Florida Inland Navigation pit so that we are not taking any sand sources that may be available to the public so we don't do any sort of artificial price inflation," Fentress said.

The county hopes to start moving some sand in three weeks, she said.

Fentress said the effort is intended to provide emergency protection to the hardest-hit areas and that $5 million is "a drop in the bucket" of what's needed to repair the entire coast. She said a standard beach renourishment can run up to about $10 million per mile.

But the county is working with state and federal elected officials to get more help.

"It truly is our hope that we're going to get some pretty significant Christmas presents in the form of checks and agreements in the next couple of months," Fentress said.

This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Volusia County coast gets boost with $5M for sand placement