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Dear Juno Beach Residents:
The Town of Juno Beach would like to encourage residents to complete the public survey below regarding Hurricane Irma. The purpose of this survey is to capture how the people in Florida responded to Hurricane Irma and the local evacuation orders. The answers recorded in this survey may provide information for future evacuation modeling. Participation will not result in response or aid from the Florida Division of Emergency Management or partners promoting this survey. If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Project Coordinator/Risk Manager Dobbins at firstname.lastname@example.org or (561)656-0326.
Please click on the following link: https://www.floridadisaster.org/info/irma-recovery/hurricane-irma-evacuation-survey/
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PUBLIC NOTICE FROM THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA) Public_Notice
RESPONDING TO CONCERNS ABOUT SEAWEED AND TRASH ON JUNO BEACH’S BEACHES
This year Hurricane Irma, an ensuing sub-tropical system and extraordinarily high tides with strong winds throughout Palm Beach County caused large amounts of seaweed, trash/debris washed ashore and in some locations, substantial beach erosion. While the Town of Juno Beach takes great pride in the condition of its beaches, there are regulations which limit the Town’s ability to remove that debris in a timely manner. The purpose of this site is to advise the public of the Town’s plan to address the problems, while offering suggestions as to how the general public can coordinate with the Town to improve the quality and aesthetics of Juno Beach’s finest natural assets.
The key agencies which manage state beaches in our area are the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Agency (DEP) and the Palm Beach County of Environmental Resource Management (ERM). Other agencies which impact the activities on Town beaches are the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.
One question often asked is why the beaches are not raked to remove the seaweed. The Department of Environmental Resource Management has provided the Town with regulatory guidance for mechanical beach raking in Juno Beach. ERM stated that all beach regulatory agencies, Environmental Resource Management, Environmental Protection, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Loggerhead Marinelife Center adamantly oppose mechanical raking since it negatively impacts the environment, sea-life, turtles and waterfowl. The unsightly and sometimes foul smelling accumulated seaweed on the beach (called wrack) following high tide serves an important ecological function. Organisms found in recent wrack serve as a source of food for migratory birds. As wrack dries, it is blown by the wind toward the dune, where it serves to catch wind-blown sand to help fertilize dune vegetation as it breaks down.
Mechanical raking during turtle nesting season is allowed only below the High Water Line and after the beach is cleared of nests by the Marine Turtle Permit holder. The Marine Permit Holder for the beach is the Loggerhead Marinelife Center biologist, who is responsible for marking, care and relocation of turtle nests. Palm Beach County contracts with the Loggerhead Marinelife Center to monitor nests in areas when their public guarded beaches were mechanically raked. Sea turtle nest monitoring and relocation may cost $100 each, and Environmental Resource Management estimates 1000 – 2000 nests would warrant that level of care on the monitored beach within Juno Beach. Should the Town wish to have its beaches mechanically raked, these costs would be borne by the Town.
Town Ordinance prohibits mechanical raking except at County public guarded beach areas. Town Ordinance does allow for hand raking of beaches in Town. A “no fee” permit spells out the allowable dates and conditions which must be followed by individuals or groups wishing to relocate the seaweed. The seaweed cannot be removed from the beach, but rather hand raked to the toe of the dune. The “no fee” permit is active for one year and can be obtained at the Juno Beach Town Center.
TRASH and DEBRIS
Trash and debris on our beaches can come from a variety of sources, but this situation has become more pronounced following Hurricane Irma. Again, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is the lead agency as it relates to beach maintenance and the use of motorized equipment on beaches. During the months of turtle nesting season, the DEP advises the Town of the following regarding the use of equipment and the removal of derelict debris from the beach:
“The removal efforts of material and debris (from the beach) involving equipment are to be coordinated with Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) and the local marine turtle permit holder, which in your area is the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. The FWC will provide contact information with the designated FWC marine turtle permit holder, as they must be on-site, especially this time of year when there are hundreds of unmarked nests. The permit holder can tell the folks responsible for removing the debris exactly where to steer clear of since they do have GPS information on nests (marked or unmarked). FWC will also generally provide a list of standard operating procedures……like operating or moving to the site on the wet sand portion of the beach as much as practical and removal of all ruts. Although a DEP permit is not needed, this coordination would eliminate any possibility of something unfortunately occurring with an unmarked nest.”
The Town of Juno Beach will begin an aggressive trash removal effort following the end of turtle nesting season which occurs on November 1st. Shortly thereafter, a large force of laborers will walk the entire two miles of beach to clear beaches of litter and debris. This effort will be solely focused on the collection and removal of trash only, no seaweed will be removed or relocated. Still, despite our best efforts the forces of nature, wind and tide can carry “new” trash onto our beaches after they’ve been cleaned. To maintain our beaches there are various groups and organizations which work to keep beaches clean. Among those agencies are the Loggerhead Marinelife Center volunteer beach clean-ups, and once turtle nesting season ends, the Juno Beach Civic Association and the Town’s Earth Day beach cleanup helps remove tons of debris.
The beaches in Juno Beach are a tremendous asset to the Town and we will continue to assess these issues to insure people, waterfowl and marine life continue to enjoy a healthy environment along our beaches.
Questions, comments or concerns? Contact the Juno Beach, Department of Public Works at 561-656-0310.
Please click on the following link for more information: SWA_HCRC_October_2017
The Town of Juno Beach Encourages all Juno Beach Residents to Sign Up for Palm Beach County's
Emergency Notification System