Brevard Officials Travel To D.C. To Secure Beach Funding

By  //  February 25, 2015

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Cocoa Beach Among Best Restored Beaches

ABOVE VIDEO: Cocoa Beach will be recognized Wednesday for being one of only four U.S. beaches named a 2014 “Best Restored Beach” by The American Shore and Beach Preservation in a ceremony in Washington D.C. Brevard government officials are in D.C. Wednesday to meet with members of Brevard County’s Congressional delegation to promote continued funding for beach renourishment, and support for construction of a new Emergency Operations Center and Communications Center.

Officials Look For Support of Emergency Operations Center Construction

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Brevard County government officials are in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to meet with members of Brevard County’s Congressional delegation to promote continued funding for beach renourishment, and support for construction of a new Emergency Operations Center and Communications Center.

U.S. Rep. Bill Posey

U.S. Rep. Bill Posey

District 2 Commissioner Jim Barfield, Tourism and Development Commission Director Eric Garvey, Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser and Michael McGarry, beach project coordinator and environment scientist with Natural Resource Management Department, are attending the 2015 Coastal Summit and will meet this week with legislative aides for Sen. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio and Rep. Bill Posey.

Jim Barfield

Jim Barfield

Eric Garvey

Eric Garvey

Separate meetings are scheduled on beach renourishment funding and on the need for a co-located Emergency Operations and Communications Center.

Florida’s Space Coast officials are working with federal officials to secure an additional $5.4 million to finish the Mid Reach section of the Space Coast, the third and final phase of the project.

The Mid Reach phase includes Indian Harbour Beach, Satellite Beach and Melbourne.

The project uses a combination of matching federal, state and local tourism tax investment.

Brevard Beach Restoration Receives National RecognitionRelated Story:
Brevard Beach Restoration Receives National Recognition

Those meetings are scheduled through Thursday.

This week, the county’s efforts to protect its 72-mile-long coastline from threats posed by beach erosion will receive national recognition as one of four U.S. beaches named a 2014 “Best Restored Beach” by the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association.

Kimberly Prosser

Kimberly Prosser

An estimated $39 million in federal funds have helped restore North and South Reaches of Space Coast beaches, including Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral and Indialantic, creating healthy habitats for coastal wildlife and tourist recreation.

Beach tourism provides direct and indirect benefits in Brevard of an estimated $1.6 billion annually.

Since 2000, more than $134 million in county, state and federal dollars have been spent on sand replacement along Brevard County beaches.

Bill Nelson

Bill Nelson

Earlier this month, the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution that asked for state and/or federal funding to construct an Emergency Operations facility that will enhance local and regional public safety, as well as national security.

Brevard County’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is the most frequently activated in the state and second-most-activated in the nation, primarily due to rocket launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio

The county, however, is also vulnerable to storm surge, tornadoes, flooding and high winds resulting in severe property damage and to potential loss of life from the effects of a hurricane or tropical storm, among other hazards.

Brevard has the second-oldest Emergency Operations Center of Florida’s 67 counties, as well as the oldest and smallest EOC in the region, at 50 years old and 11,000 square feet.

Brevard County North Reach Wins Restoration AwardRelated Story:
Brevard County North Reach Wins Restoration Award

It is an initiative of the State of Florida to co-locate and consolidate 911 communication centers, but Brevard County has 11 different public safety answering points.

A spatial needs analysis has already been completed for a facility which would encompass an EOC floor, co-located law enforcement/fire 911 communications dispatch center, traffic management center, 800 MHz public safety radio system administration, E911 administration, Emergency Management administration and logistical space.

Stockton Whitten

Stockton Whitten

“This is a trip in which we’re working to secure millions of dollars for completion of Mid Reach beach restoration and also financial support for a new Emergency Operations Center, so the ultimate gain for Brevard County will far exceed the cost of the trip,” said County Manager Stockton Whitten.

Based on approved travel by the Board of County Commissioners, airfare, hotel, 2015 Coastal Summit registration and rental car amounts to about $1,000 per person.

BEFORE AND AFTER BREVARD COUNTY BEACH IMAGES

7th Street Cocoa Beach 1995

7th Street Cocoa Beach 1995

7th Street Cocoa Beach 2012

7th Street Cocoa Beach 2012

South Reach (Melbourne) 1999

South Reach (Melbourne) 1999

South Reach (Melbourne) 2012

South Reach (Melbourne) 2012

Indialantic 2012

Indialantic 2012

Indialantic 2001

Indialantic 2001

Cocoa Beach Pier Dec. 2000

Cocoa Beach Pier Dec. 2000

Cocoa Beach Pier April 2003

Cocoa Beach Pier April 2003

12th Street Cocoa Beach 2012

12th Street Cocoa Beach 2012

12th Street Cocoa Beach 1995

12th Street Cocoa Beach 1995


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