Coastal Management

Pasco County has more than 24 miles of coastline, dotted with homes, channels, parks, beaches and marinas. Our coast provides vital recreational and economic resources to the citizens of Pasco County. The Coastal Management Program is tasked with improving and preserving these vital resources, so Pasco can continue to be the “sports coast.”

Dredging Program

Dredging is the process of removing soil and debris below the water line to create and maintain channels for navigational purposes. The goal of the Dredging Program is the creation and maintenance of channels connecting Pasco’s shores to the navigable waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Maintenance Dredging Program

Maintenance of channels is necessary as sand and other debris move throughout our ecosystem, some of it ends up in our channels. This reduces the depth of the channels, impacting navigation, water quality and safety. These impacts necessitate maintenance dredging. The maintenance dredging program seeks to maintain navigational access to the Gulf of Mexico from coastal channels in Pasco County.

Permitting of dredging programs is controlled federally by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and by the state of Florida through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Maintenance dredging is typically permitted through a nationwide permit or an exemption, however, difficulties can arise when the original dredging was not well documented or previously permitted.

New Dredging Program

New Dredging work occurs when there is no channel, or the channel dimensions need to be changed. This work is difficult to permit and can take years to complete the design and permitting phases.

Funding Sources

Various state and federal programs and grants can sometimes cover a portion of dredging costs, but a “local share” still exists. Many counties use the Municipal Service Benefit Unit (MSBU) model to fund dredging and other public works which disproportionately benefit a single community. With the community’s agreement, the local costs for the work are shared by all the benefitting properties.

Current Projects

The Hudson and Gulf harbors areas were studied in 2020 and are expected to be dredged over the next several years. Other coastal areas are under preliminary study by the county and finding will be released as they are developed.

Coastal Resiliency

Coastal resilience means building the ability of a community to "bounce back" after hazardous events such as hurricanes, coastal storms and flooding – rather than simply reacting to impacts. 

The Coastal Resiliency Program aims to improve Pasco County’s resilience by improving protection of our shores from erosion, waves, storm surge, coastal flooding and other coastal hazards. 

Synergy with other Coastal Management goals can be achieved by using the soils dredged up during channel maintenance and creation for the construction of these projects.

Erosion and Wave Protection

Various strategies can be employed to reduce the effects of waves and erosion on the shoreline. Some strategies include barrier island creation, groins, breakwaters, seawalls, living shorelines, elevation of existing shorelines and many more.

Coastal Flooding

Coastal flooding impacts can be reduced by a number of strategies, including elevating roads and structures and the creation of dunes, berms and levees.

Funding

Any number of funding sources can be utilized. 

Beach Nourishment

Beach nourishment is the process of placing additional sand on a beach or near to shore. A wider and higher beach can provide improved recreation, storm protection and create new habitats. Pasco County has precious beach locations and so, these deserve special protection and enhancement to provide for the recreational and habitat needs of the county. The goal of the beach Nourishment Program is to evaluate Pasco County’s beaches for opportunities for improvement and reuse of our dredged material on the beaches.