Turtles Once Again Ruining Plan to Save Singer Island Beaches

The board will consider a proposal tomorrow to review plans for "perpendicular structures along Singer Island" to try to slow the rate of erosion. A similar proposal was floated last year but failed for the same reasons this plan is being criticized: baby turtles.

Critics say breakwaters like the ones in the proposal pose a danger to breeding sea turtles. 

"Breakwaters or t-groins have several impacts," Palm Beach County's Surfrider Foundation Chairman Greg Lyon said. "They inhibit turtles' ability to nest on the beach as well as for new hatchlings to return to sea."

He also said the structures are "a blessing and a curse" when it comes to actually slowing erosion -- that while they're effective on the beaches they protect, breakwaters actually hasten erosion "down-drift," on unprotected beaches near the structures.

"Palm Beach County needs to look at alternatives to stabilize this beach other than structures," he added, saying dune replenishment is the best option for the environment. 

That idea was specifically shot down in the motion submitted to the commission as "either ineffective or would result in an unacceptable level of impacts to coastal resources," but there are dozens of reports on beach preservation. We're wading through them now to see what might actually be up.

Singer Island Erosion Report

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Rich Abdill