Palm Beach County Logo, link to home page
 Lakes, Estuaries
and Lagoons

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 and Upcoming Events

  • Frenchman's Forest Natural Area Closed
    The site will be closed beginning Wednesday, June 22nd while crews are out working. The natural area will reopen on the weekend for public use.
  • Lake Worth Lagoon Fishing Challenge, June 1st - 30th
    Interested in helping collect valuable fisheries information while getting a chance to win a prize? If so, you'll want to participate in this free fishing event. Visit the web page for details. [LINK]
  • Lake Worth Lagoon Initiative Grant Program
    Now accepting applications for FY 2017. Deadline to submit is August 15, 2016. [LINK]
  • Adventure Awaits - Bike and Hike, June 25th 8:00am
    Discover the trails of Loxahatchee Slough with ERM staff during this unique tour that incorporates cycling and hiking. For more details and to reserve your spot, visit the event page. [EVENT PAGE]
  • Environmental Times Newsletter
    Read the latest edition Spring 2016 for highlights on artificial reefs, climate change, LagoonFest and more. [LINK]
  • Lake Worth Lagoon E-News
    Read the latest edition May 2016 for highlights on the Lake Worth Lagoon Fishing Challenge, restoration projects, LagoonFest and more. [LINK]
  • Volunteer Accomplishments in 2015
    See what ERM's volunteers were up to in 2015. [PDF]
  • Mosquito Control Update - Zika Virus
    While ERM's Mosquito Control Division is hard at work taking proactive steps to reducing mosquito popluations learn how you can protect yourself and reduce your exposure to mosquitoe-borne diseases. [PDF]
  • Scavenger Hunts
    Are available at several natural areas for youngsters to complete to recieve their Natural Area Youth Explorer certificate. [PDF]
  • ERM's Status Reports
    Stay up to date on our projects with these monthly publications. [LINK]