Hot Topics and What's New
DEP Deputy Secretary Jeff Littlejohn
has introduced a proposal for a pilot project to implement a new
regulatory approach for beach nourishment and inlet management to
several coastal managers and stakeholders in Palm Beach. This new
approach to state permitting is centered on regional management of
beaches rather than the continuation of the conventional
project-by-project permitting process.
Beaches Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) is being developed
by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in
cooperation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission and with input from a broad range of contributing
partners. The HCP seeks to preserve the unique and precious
wildlife and natural resources of Florida’s coastline.
Additional information is available from the
Florida Beaches Habitat Conservation Plan Web Site, or the
Beaches Habitat Conservation Plan Brochure.
"To protect, restore, and manage
Florida's coastal system"
No other state and very few countries can boast such an abundance of
high quality beaches. The 825 miles of sandy coastline fronting the Atlantic Ocean, the
Gulf of Mexico or the Straits of Florida are one of Florida’s most
valuable natural resources. Florida’s beaches are deserving of this
status because they serve several important functions, each being vital
to maintaining the health of Florida’s economy and environment.
For information pertaining to the length of sandy coastline...
The coastal sandy beach system is home to hundreds of species
of plants and animals that are dependent upon the beaches, dunes
and near shore waters for all or part of their lives. For
example, beaches are used by resident and migratory shorebirds
for resting, foraging and nesting and during the summer months,
marine turtles come ashore to nest on the beach. There are over
30 animals considered rare within the state that inhabit the
beach and adjacent habitats. These plants and animals are
adapted to living in the beach’s harsh environment of salt
spray, shifting and infertile sand, bright sunlight, and storms.
Beaches are also heavily used by humans. Florida’s beaches have
attracted 14 million people to the state, 75% of which live
within ten miles of the coast (State of the Coast Report, 1996).
Both tourists and residents come to the beaches to relax and
enjoy the sights and sounds of its natural beauty. Others visit
the beaches and nearby waters to engage in boating, fishing,
diving, and other recreations. Florida's beaches are an integral
part of the state's economy, attracting tourists from around the
world. Beach tourism generates about $15 billion a year to the
state’s economy (State of the Coast Report, 1996).
The beach and dune system is our first line of defense against
storms because it acts as a buffer between the storm waves and
coastal development. During hurricanes, storm waves encounter
the beach and dunes before crashing into upland structures. When
this happens, the sand making up the beach and dune system may
be temporarily lost to the offshore bar system absorbing energy
and reducing the damage suffered by structures.
In order to protect, preserve, and manage Florida’s valuable
sandy beaches and adjacent and coastal system, the Legislature
adopted the Florida Beach and Shore Preservation Act, contained
in to Parts I and II of Chapter 161, Florida Statutes. The Act
provides three interrelated programs administered by the
Department of Environmental Protection which work in concert to
accomplish the task, those programs are: the Coastal
Construction Control Line program, the Beach Erosion Control
Program, and the Coastal Construction Program.
The Coastal Protection and Engineering Program (Coastal
Construction Control Line Permitting) protects the beach and
dune system from imprudent upland construction that could
weaken, damage or destroy the integrity of the beach and dune
The Beach and Coastal Ecosystem Management Program (The
Beach Erosion Control Program) provides for management of
coastal sediments to reduce erosion stress and restoration and
maintenance of critically eroding beaches...more
The Coastal Construction Program or the Environmental
Permitting Program (Joint Coastal and Environmental Resource
Permitting) protects the shoreline from activities that could
contribute to erosion...more
In order to provide the necessary data collection to support
the regulatory and beach management programs described above,
the Bureau administers the
Coastal Data Acquisition Program. This program is
responsible for regional surveys and monitoring of the state’s
sandy beach shoreline, as well as developing and maintaining the
Bureau's Coastal GIS database...more
The Coastal Engineering Program provides the necessary
research and analysis to support the regulatory and beach
management programs with science-based decisions. The coastal
engineering staff models shoreline changes, determines erosion
rates and areas of critical erosion, and conducts regional
offshore sand searches...more
Explore this website for more information on the Bureau of
Beaches and Coastal Systems, or call our office at