08 • 03 • 2009
In a landmark decision, Florida Judge Robert E. Meale recently ruled against the town of Palm Beach in denying the town a permit to dredge and fill 1.8 miles of beach (Reach 8) surrounding the Lake Worth Pier with 700,000 cubic yards of poor-quality sediment. In early 2008, the Palm Beach County Chapter, The Snook Foundation, and three individuals challenged the town and the State of Florida’s intent to issue that permit. The City of Lake Worth and Eastern Surfing Association also intervened in opposition to the project.
The petitioners proved the dredge-and-fill project would destroy the beach and coastal environment by directly burying seven acres of reefs. The silty material would have also killed marine life, including endangered sea turtles, and seriously harmed the surfing, fishing and diving. This decision was upheld in August by the FL Dep't of Environmental Protection when they threw out the project's application.