The port meeting was opened in form and the pledge was given. The minutes were approved, and the meeting continued. There were several topics of business discussed the ones of most interest to me were the reports on the dredging of the Port of Palm Beach inlet, and the report on the Island Breeze.
It seems that The Port of Palm Beach is still dealing with shoaling problems in the inlet channel (the problem of sand washing into the depths of our inlet channel). This has been an ongoing problem for quite some time, and our sand transfer station operation has been intermittent at best for over a year. Thankfully the Army Corp of Engineers has been fervent in it’s efforts to keep our inlet to an acceptable depth for the safety and functionality of our Port.
There was discussion of the fact that if we improved the functionality of our transfer plant, and widened the sand pickup area, and if we could insure the constant depth of the current advertised depth of -33 ft. the need to deepen the inlet channel might be reduced. There was also talk of maybe keeping the current advertised depth, and just widening the channel 50 ft. to the north.
That having been said, the Army Corp of Engineers has already reapplied for the new speculated depth of -39 ft. with the environmental protection agencies. The permit for such construction is not expected to be approved for another two years. (THIS PARAGRAPH WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE DISCUSSION AT THE PORT MEETING).
It is this author’s belief that in spite of some opposition the Army Corp of Engineers will accomplish their purpose as the Port of Palm Beach does not just serve the people of Palm Beach County. Our Sea Port is global in nature, and serves the whole Continental United States and the world.
Touching on the Island Breeze, They are a midst bankruptcy, and currently have three motions before the court. They are in arrears for payments to the Port of Palm Beach, and their electricity to their vessel has recently been cut off. I guess this is a just wait and see moment.
We should all be aware of the new cruse vessel the “GRAND CELEBRATION” that is to start sailing on the 1st of February, 2015. This was not a topic at the latest Port meeting; however, it is still worthy of mention.
(article by George Black Jr.)