Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge
Location: Melbourne Beach, FL
Project: Repair Boardwalk and Dune Crossing
Project type: Recovery
This project will repair a section of boardwalk and a dune crossing area at the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Conservation / Restoration Goals
- Repair damaged sections of visitor trail
- Restore visitor opportunities to engage with wildlife
- Restores visitor and refuge staff access to damaged areas
- Mitigates public safety concerns
Hurricane Sandy caused severe erosion along the Florida's east coast and Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. Sandy cut large swaths from the dunes. It also swept away 10 to 15 feet of dune laterally and three feet of beach vertically. About 60% of the dune system was lost in this storm, leaving properties and sea turtle nesting habitat at risk. Many structures were destroyed as a result of the storm, including dune crossovers that are crucial to helping reduce human-caused damage to dune structures. This included a crossover at a refuge government quarters facility that is used by University of Central Florida sea turtle researchers. Demolition and reconstruction of the crossover required a County permit and had to be completed before March 1st when sea turtle season begins. Because of the tight deadline and length of time needed for a construction contract, Friends of the Archie Carr Refuge stepped in and paid for the crossover replacement. The crossover was completed on time and is even better quality than the original. The Friends Group was repaid later from Hurricane Sandy Recovery funding.