Bradenton Beach combats rising sea, reviews new plan for living shorelines
Environmental Science Associates went before the Bradenton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency Jan. 5 and city commission Jan. 6 to discuss a 30% plan for a living shoreline. The ESA presented proposals for resiliency in the face of rising sea levels and future storms.
The environmental consulting firm was hired by the city to analyze coastal conditions for living shorelines about 1,200 feet in length on Sarasota Bay, along a section of Bay Drive South from Bridge Street to Fifth Street South.
ESA proposed installing a vertical wall in the uplands — seawalls with planters, precast concrete structures and tier walls that hold oyster bags.
ESA is projecting rising sea levels based on benchmarks from the Tampa Bay Climate Science Advisory Panel, a group of scientists researching the impact of climate change.
“Right now, 2-foot plus 2 is our natural ground evaluation at our lowest form. North, more toward the marina, we’re talking about 6-7 feet elevation. We want to work on those lower areas. New seawalls would be at elevation plus 5 and bring areas of around 2- or 3-foot natural grade to about 5,” ESA coastal engineer and program manager Bryan Flynn said Jan. 5, addressing the CRA.
The height for a seawall is calculated using rising sea level projections and statistical analysis of wave heights in 10-year to 25-year wind events.