Congress authorized the project on August 3, 1995 as a 3.75-mile beach nourishment project. Project was first constructed between December 1995 and April 1996. At the time, the County funded an additional quarter-mile of beach nourishment extending the total length of the project to four miles. The USACE constructed smaller segments of this project in 2001 and in 2002. In 2005 and 2013 the USACE and County constructed full projects again in response to the erosion caused by hurricanes Frances and Jeanne during summer 2004 and Hurricane Sandy in fall 2012.
The 2013 Hutchinson Island Shore Protection Project placed approximately 613,000 cubic yards of sand on the northern 3.75 miles of Martin County’s coast. In this project hopper dredges mined sand from an offshore borrow site (St. Lucie Shoal) lying approximately 7 miles offshore. Once full, the hoppers would navigate to 1 of 2 pipelines that extended approximately 1000 ft. offshore from the project, connect to the pipeline and pump sand from its hold, through the pipeline, onto the beach. Sections of pipe were added to move the sand further up and down the beach. Construction was initiated on March 25, 2013 and concluded on April 22, 2013. Post-construction monitoring data collection will continue for at least three more years.