Florida Construction News staff writer
Members of the media and the public are invited to join Miami Beach officials for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday at 10:30 a.m. to mark the completion of the $2.8 million Brittany Bay Park living shoreline project.
The linear park project was funded by the Miami Beach General Obligation Bond Program (G.O.) in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) through its charitable arm, the NextEra Energy Foundation.
“Living shorelines help manage coastal flooding by combining nature-based protection such as mangroves and restored wetlands with effective manmade solutions like concrete seawalls,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “This is one of the most eco-friendly tools we have for managing the threats associated with rising sea levels.”
The project marks the second green-grey infrastructure collaboration with The Nature Conservancy. FPL contributed $150,000 to the project.
“It is always so rewarding to literally roll up our sleeves and work together with the City of Miami Beach and the Nature Conservancy – especially on such a great project that creates a resilient yet interactive living shoreline at Brittany Bay Park,” said FPL vice president of environmental services Kate MacGregor. “FPL is proud to be a part of lasting improvements that will allow residents and visitors to enjoy Brittany Bay Park for many years to come.”
Living shorelines in combination with seawalls not only protect the 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, and provide important accessibility to nature for people.
“Implementing nature-based solutions like living shorelines and collaborating closely with partners and communities is critical to strengthening climate resilience,” added James Byrne, director of strategy at the Nature Conservancy in Florida. “We are thrilled to see the completion of this impactful project.
“Together, we can move forward on climate adaptation while also addressing the underlying drivers of climate change to support a resilient future.”
The Brittany Bay Park Living Shoreline is hydraulically connected to Indian Creek with an ADA-accessible scenic overlook that allows park visitors to walk from the park to the seawall. In addition to new trees, shrubs and ground cover, all of the exercise equipment in the park was replaced with new equipment.
New walkways and lighting have also been 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 about 55 miles of shoreline with 91 per cent 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 was performed by Florida Construction & Engineering, Inc.