A dozen years after Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne damaged and destroyed slips in the municipal marina in Fort Pierce, Fla., the city completed its $31 million renovation and reopened the marina in late June.
The resulting project includes 13 barrier islands to protect the marina and shore from storm surge, a floating wave attenuator in the outer basin, the addition of 137 wet slips to the marina, and a public-access area on the waterfront.
“Others in Florida have done rubble islands as a form of storm surge protection, so we knew the concept was viable, but we wanted to create lagoon habitat as well as provide habitat for shore birds on the islands,” said Ed Seissiger, the city’s engineering project manager. “We wanted something that would not only protect the marina and the city’s waterfront but enhance marine life.”
The islands will provide juvenile fish sanctuary; mangroves and oyster shells were planted to attract birds, oyster larvae, fish and other marine life. They sit about 700 feet offshore. The largest is about 14 acres, the smallest one-tenth of an acre.
Bellingham Marine designed and built the concrete floating docks, floating wave attenuator, and gangway systems.
The marina is on the Indian River near the Fort Pierce Inlet on Florida’s east coast, about 100 miles north of Ft. Lauderdale.