Six years after first applying for money to restore a locally popular stretch of beach along Apalachee Bay, the Shell Point Beach project is complete. The $550,000 project included renourishment of beach sand, planting of native plants to reduce erosion, oyster shell breakwaters, sand dunes and fencing. Funding for the project came from money set aside by BP following the 2011 Deep Water Horizon oil spill and administered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for early restoration projects. Wakulla County was awarded the so-called Natural Resources Damage Assessment Program money in 2014.
“This is big for our county, Shell Point Beach is a hidden treasure. Not only will the improvements support tourism, it also helps protect property and habitat,” said Wakulla County Administrator David Edwards. DEP managed the grant and grant funds. MRD Associates, Inc. supervised the project design, permitting, and construction, which was performed by DPS Corp. Environmental Contractors. In addition to the NRDA funding, the county spent about $78,000 in 1-cent sales tax money to resurface the roadway in front of the beach, install traffic calming devices, improve parking areas, and build a new playground.