This video is of the Army Corp of Engineers surveying the inlet channel of the Port of Palm Beach. I met with some members of the Army Corp of Engineers on 10/20/2014. This was in response to an emergency call from the Port District on 10/17/2014 concerning shoaling in the channel of our sea port.
At that time the concern was both environmental, and commercial.
Environmental, from the perspective that sand washes from north to south along our sea shore while the Gulf Stream travels from south to north. This southward movement of sand along our sea coast threatens both to close our channel, which, in essence would put this International Sea Port out of business, and with the closure of the inlet, the sea grasses and marine life as we know it, would be threatened due to the drop of the salinity of the lake water, and because of the backup of the run-off from the common elements of an industrialized population of an agricultural community.
In addition to these problems, our power plant may not be able to sustain the cooling of its generators which may cause electrical shortages within our growing population if our vintage sand pump does not continue to work. In this video you will note the sand pumping dredge, the servicing ships to carry equipment for the sand pumping and dredging operation, and the divers surveying the inlet channel of our international sea port.
I have written these documentations because if we do not keep up with the future we will be left in the past. Quite frankly, our sand pump and Sea Port is becoming structurally obsolete. Our channel is also becoming functionally obsolete compared to today’s standards. We have been dredging on a regular basis for the last couple of years. Our sand pumping equipment has been patched in two, three, or more areas since the Hurricanes of 2004 and 2005.
Eventually things wear out, and if we become unable to support the expected growth of Tropical Shipping, Florida Crystal, and other business concerns of the Port District, and the continental growth of the United States that ship through our Sea Port we will lose our business, our jobs, and wellbeing to Port St. Lucie, Port Miami, or Port Everglades.
Therefore it seems essential to me to renew our sand pump, deepen our channel, and turning basin, and build the prospected Inland Port for the future, our people, and our Country.
The last time our channel was deepened was in 1963 taking the mean water depth to 33″. Since then our improvements have kept up with the times, but have not prepared for the future. The proposed new depth which I also proposed when I ran for Commissioner of the Port of Palm Beach is 39 feet, and with a proposed width increase of 50 feet. I also proposed to connect I-95 to Martin Luther King Jr. St. also known as the Purple Heart Highway, and Beeline Highway.
These improvements along with the construction of the Inland Port also proposed by both Commissioner Wayne Richards, and myself should insure the continued existence of the shores of Palm Beach, the sea life of Lake Worth, more jobs in the Port’s district, plus a bright future for Palm Beach County.
George Black Jr. (editor/staff writer of the Port of Palm Beach Post, Politician, business man.)
The information for this report was obtained primarily from documents of the Port of Palm Beach, and also sources such as the Army Corp of Engineers, whether data, marine studies, economic studies, etc.