Public outreach is a top priority for the town’s Shore Protection Board, which will hold its first meeting of the new year tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 27).
The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Town Council chambers at Town Hall.
Public turnout is always encouraged at the board’s meetings. But Coastal Program Manager Rob Weber said tomorrow’s meeting should be especially enlightening for residents.
The shore board will review four brief educational videos produced by town consultants as part of the public outreach. If it likes the videos, it will recommend that the Town Council approve posting them on the town’s website and/or other social media platforms such as YouTube, Weber said.
The videos focus on beach renourishment; coastal hard structure technology, including the town’s groin rehabilitation program; maintenance of the Reach 8 beach, which is between the Lake Worth Beach public beach and Palm Beach’s south town limit; and on temporary and perpetual easements and why they are important to the coastal protection effort.
The videos are narrated by Weber and by Tom Pierro, principal engineer, and Stacy Buck, senior marine biologist, with Coastal Protection Engineering. CPE is a coastal consultant to the town.
Weber said they are consistent with the board’s goal, set last year, “to increase communication with the public and to better educate the public about the Shore Protection Program.”
Friday’s meeting also will include an overview of the health of the town’s shoreline, including recent photographs of different areas of the town’s shoreline.
Mike Jenkins, coastal principal at Applied Technology & Management, coastal consultant to the town, will provide data to show how the sand is drifting through the town’s beaches.
The beaches are in good shape, Weber said. “We’re really in maintenance mode at this point. Every time we do a project, we learn from what we have done before and we tweak it to make it better.”
The town’s next beach fill is scheduled for this year at Reach 7, which includes Phipps Ocean Park and extends from R.G. Kreusler Park (adjacent to the Lake Worth Beach public beach) northward to Sloan’s Curve.
The most recent nourishments to date were at Midtown Beach in 2020 and a hurricane recovery beach fill at Phipps Ocean Park in 2021.
Friday’s meeting will also include election of the shore board chair and vice chair for the next year.
The seven-member board advises the council on matters related to coastal protection. Its members are acting Chairwoman Melissa Ceriale, Warren Belmar, Peter Matwiczyk, Ronald Matzner, Erick Reickert, Doug Rogers, and Joel Zylstra.
Belmar is a Palm Beach Civic Association director.