MARGATE – As the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers complies with temporary mitigation efforts ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Renee M. Bumb on Thursday, residents plan to demonstrate their solidarity against the project 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13.
Organizers are asking residents to make signs to demonstrate their concerns, and be ready to share their ideas on how to proceed against the project. The group will meet on the beach at Jerome Avenue.
The Army Corps has begun to add sand from existing stockpiles in the area to the excavated area behind the newly built dune where stormwater collected following two recent rain events.
Army Corps spokesman Stephen Rochette said Saturday that significant progress has been made to implement Bumb’s recommendations and that the contractor and Army Corps would work through the weekend to complete mitigation efforts designed to improve health and safety issues raised by the city during recent court hearings.
By Friday evening workers had fenced off all of the basin areas and work on the creation of elevated temporary walkways at every street end would continue, Rochette said.
“We set up a procedure for testing water quality for water that collects in these areas. Also, we've begun to fill in these areas to an extent as part of a temporary solution that our engineering team has worked on,” Rochette said.
District Commander Lieutenant Colonel Kristen Dahle visited the area on Friday and met with state and city officials, he said.
“We will continue to coordinate with the state and community on short and long term measures related to stormwater management,” Rochette said.
In her ruling Oct. 10, which lifted a temporary restraining order imposed by Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez on Oct. 3, Bumb said delays in the construction of the berm and dune system would leave Margate and its neighbors unprotected from the “ravages of storms during hurricane season” and contractor Weeks Marine was “working on a tight schedule."
“Margate’s grave concerns over public safety and health are understandable and cry out for help. The measures this Court will put in place, although not perfect, should serve to prevent irreparable harm,” the ruling said.
Weeks Marine’s dredge BE Lindholm is expected to return to the area off the coast and will resume dredging operations by Tuesday evening, Rochette said.
Meanwhile, a group of residents will hold a peaceful demonstration Sunday afternoon to show their solidarity against the “damage done” by the Army Corps and the project in general.
According to a flyer disseminated through an email chain coordinated by resident Vincent Castronuovo, community leaders would update residents on the efforts being made to “stop the destruction of the beach.”