Many people have commented and asked questions about why there is a huge dredger and tugboat anchored off of Pelican Beach in Satellite Beach.
Satellite Beach left out of the larger federal sand-pumping projects from Cape Canaveral to Melbourne Beach over the past 16 years, because the federal government protects offshore coquina rock outcroppings. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration designates the rocks as essential fish habitat. The rocks provide shelter for fish and substrate for a rare marine worm.
Brevard County signed an agreement with the federal government last year that allowed the almost 8 miles of beach, from just south of Patrick Air Force Base to Flug Avenue in Indialantic, to formally become part of a federally authorized beach renourishment project.
But the plan buries about 3 acres of 30 acres of offshore rocks within the project area. So the county first must build and install 4.8 acres of artificial reef offshore before pumping sand onto the beach.
If federal funding materializes, Brevard officials expect to begin a roughly $29 million project to haul about 500,000 cubic yards of beach quality sand to widen the so-called “Mid Reach” shoreline in Satellite Beach and Indian Harbour Beach.