Miami Beach and Nature Conservancy Break Ground on Brittany Bay Park Living Shoreline
(Miami Beach, FL) Nov 16, 2021 -
The City of Miami Beach will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 9 a.m. to mark the start of the $1.8 million Brittany Bay Park Living Shoreline Project, which is made possible by the Miami Beach General Obligation Bond Program (G.O.) in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the support of Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) through its charitable arm, the NextEra Energy Foundation.
“Living shorelines represent one of the most environmentally friendly countermeasures to rising sea levels,” Miami Beach City Manager Alina T. Hudak said. “They combine existing concrete seawalls with natural infrastructure to reduce the impact of coastal flooding.”
On May 13, 2021, the City Commission unanimously approved the recommendation to award a contract for construction. The city has partnered with TNC to implement Miami Beach’s second hybrid green-gray coastal resilience project that marries a traditional seawall with features of a living shoreline such as mangroves and restored wetlands to protect the park and the community beyond it from the impacts of sea level rise and flooding. FPL is providing $225,000 toward the cost of the project.
“Environmental stewardship is ingrained in our culture at FPL and has been a driving force in our conservation work for decades,” said Kate MacGregor, FPL vice president of environmental services. “We are honored to partner on this important collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and the city of Miami Beach that will benefit the local community and help enhance and protect Brittany Bay Park.”
Living shorelines not only protect the park and local community from sea level rise and the impacts of severe weather conditions, but also restore and enhance natural habitats for birds, fish and other marine life through various structural and organic materials, including terrestrial and aquatic vegetation as well as oyster reefs that provide the additional benefit of improving water quality in Biscayne Bay, a priority for the city, county and The Nature Conservancy.
“Miami Beach is the archetype of a city dealing with the immediate impacts of sea level rise and Biscayne Bay is at the top of Miami-Dade’s environmental priority list. Utilizing nature-based solutions at Brittany Bay Park not only helps protect the park and the people of North Beach from the immediate impacts of sea level rise and climate change, but it helps restore the bay and reduce the CO2 that is a root cause of climate change,” observed Temperince Morgan, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Florida. “It’s thanks to the City of Miami Beach’s commitment to its people and the environment as well as the generous support of FPL that we are able to help restore nature to the city and increase its resilience, creating an example of what we can do in the face of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.”
The Brittany Bay Park Living Shoreline will be hydraulically connected to Indian Creek with an ADA-accessible scenic overlook that allows park visitors to walk from the park to the existing seawall. In addition to new trees, shrubs and ground cover, all of the exercise equipment in the park will be replaced with new equipment.
New walkways and lighting will also be installed along with new furnishings, benches and trash/recycle receptacles. Brittany Bay Park is located at the southernmost entrance of North Beach near the 63 Street drawbridge.
Miami Beach has approximately 55 miles of shoreline, of which about 91% falls on private property. The city’s G.O. Bond has committed $10 million toward resilient seawalls and living shorelines on public property. Work on the Brittany Bay Park Living Shoreline Project will be performed by Florida Construction & Engineering, Inc.
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About The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter. In Florida since 1961, with support from our members, we have helped protect more than 1.2 million acres of vulnerable lands and waters across the state. We own and manage more than 52,000 acres in 25 Conservancy preserves in Florida. nature.org/florida, facebook.com/NatureConservancyFL, twitter.com/nature_florida, instagram.com/natureflorida/