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Lakes, Estuaries, and Lagoon Directory


ERM Directory


Intracoastal Waterway


Prior to navigation improvements, a large part of the east coast of the Florida peninsula consisted of a series of long and narrow peninsulas and islands, parallel to the shore of the mainland, and separated there by salt or brackish sounds or lagoons. The Coast Line Canal & Transportation Company, between 1883 and 1912, in a land development navigation improvement agreement with the State, dredged connecting canals between the various natural sounds and lagoons along the entire east coast of Florida between Jacksonville and Miami, so that a continuous inside waterway was created between these two cities. This series of artificial canals and natural waterways is now known as the Intracoastal Waterway from Jacksonville to Miami, Florida, and is maintained as a Federal navigation project (US Army Corps of Engineers 1988).

Periodically, certain areas of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) become so shallow that they interfere with safe navigation along the waterway. When shoals form, the sand must be removed by dredging. Coordination with the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is important concerning dredging of the ICW in Palm Beach County. FIND is the local sponsor of the ICW for USACE dredging projects.

ERM provides geotechnical and environmental data to the USACE, assists in obtaining permits, and provides input on the placement of dredge spoil material in order to make best use of the material in the most environmentally conscious manner. If the material is beach compatible, ERM arranges for its disposal on a nearby beach. In the December 1995 ICW dredging project near Donald Ross Road, the county installed a permanent pipe along the Donald Ross Road right-of-way from US 1 to A1A. The dredge operator then hooked up to the county's pipe and pumped sand to the beach at the south end of Loggerhead Park. One hundred thirty-five thousand cubic yards of dredged sand was pumped directly from the bottom of the ICW through the pipe and onto the beach.

The ICW in Palm Beach County is divided into geographic zones called reaches as seen in figure 1. The table below shows the frequency of dredging in each reach.

Reach Vicinity Waterway Mileage Dredging Frequency (Yr)
I N. county line to Indiantown Rd. 261.64 to 267.09 2
II Indiantown Rd. to Munyon Island 267.09 to 274.60 7.5
III Munyon Island to Hypoluxo Island 274.60 to 291.72 10
IV Hypoluxo Island to S. county line 291.72 to 310.22 11
( FIND/Taylor Engineering, Inc. 1985-1997)

For more information about ICW dredging in Palm Beach County, contact Dave Roach at FIND
at 561-627-3386.

Figure 1.


Current Highlights

  • Read the latest edition of the Lake Worth Lagoon E-News [LINK]
  • Read the Fall 2015 edition of Environmental Times [PDF]
  • Become a Natural Area Youth Explorer by completing a Scavenger Hunt at a local natural area! [PDF]
  • Watch this touching footage on the Andrew "Red" Harris Artificial Reef deployed last week 1 mile offshore from the Jupiter Inlet [VIDEO]
  • Operation Clean Sweep is a mobile pesticide collection program offering free pick up of the first 500 lbs for farms, nurseries, pest control companies, and golf courses. Visit the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's website for more information. [LINK]
  • Stay up to date on our projects with the Department's Monthly Status Reports. [LINK]