Lighthouse Point Canal Dredging Report:

Overview

One of the most important functions the LHP Association performs is to maintain the canal depths of the waterways running through our waterfront neighborhood. The Association maintains a fund earmarked exclusively towards getting the canals periodically dredged. This fund is composed of money  from donations made by Lighthouse Point Residents.

Over the years the canal bottoms tend to silt up from a variety of sources. Some of these are:

Normal usage: prop wash from boats coming and going can push the bottom sand around creating hills and valleys.
Seawall breakdown: as seawalls decompose, sand seeps under and through them, eventually settling down in the middle of the canal.
Local runoff: sand, waste, dirt, dust, etc. washed in from neighborhood drains.
Discharged particulate matter: After storms, the discharge from  lake O. and the C-44, the C23 and 24 canals and other streams entering the St Lucie River carries a great deal of suspended matter. This eventually settles out when the water stops moving; i.e. our canals.
  • Organic material: items such as grass clippings, palm fronds, landscape cuttings, etc. that are blown or tossed into the canal will settle to the bottom and eventually build up.
   

We are getting to the point now (2013) where we need to plan for the next dredging project as many places along the canal are getting shallower than the projected 5’ at MLW (Mean Low Water) we are permitted to maintain.

History

<can someone fill this in please? I.e. when was it last dredged, who did it, how was it paid for, etc.>

Status

The Association is in the first stages of the next dredging project. Before we can make visible progress with dredging we need to answer a number of questions:

1. Research: what canals are getting shallow and where?
2. How many cubic yards of material needs to be removed to get all the canals to the 5’ project depth at MLW?
3. Do we have enough money do remove everything?
4. If not, are there alternative steps we can take to remove just some of the material?
5. Or, do we just wait another year or two for the funds to build up?
6. How will the project be managed and who will supervise it?
7. How do we get as many residents who need private dredging together to leverage our purchasing power w/r to a dredging contractor.
   

We are working on answering these questions in order to get the dredging project moving forward.

Survey

We have taken a few depth surveys over the past 3 years in order to gauge the amount of material that needs removing.

The survey results indicate that while there are a few pronounced shallow spots,  most of the areas shallower than the 5’ project depth are large stretches where silt has built up a modest amount. That is, most of the work is removing a foot or so from wide areas, and not cutting down big bumps two or three feet above average depth.

There is a depth plot derived from a survey taken in April, 2013 available Click on the image to see a larger view.

If you have not already please contribute to Lighthouse Point Dredging Form Attached.

 

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