Bathtub Reef Beach Ready To Reopen To Public After 4-Month-Long Renourishment Project
Stuart residents, get ready to hit the water at this beloved local spot.
After a major renourishment project, Bathtub Reef Beach will reopen to the public Saturday, June 18—just in time for summer.
With the help of Ferreira Construction, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Martin County, and Sailfish Point Property Owners Association (POA), the beach has been restored to its original glory after sustaining damage from erosion and the 2012 hurricane season.
Work on the $5.3 million project began in February.
“You can’t do something this big, this complex, without great partnerships, and as long as you have them, you can move mountains of sand, and truly we have,” Martin County Commissioner Doug Smith said during a ribbon-cutting event Thursday morning.
The project—which brought in 325,000 cubic yards of sand—involved dredging from the St. Lucie Inlet and nearby flood shoals. The approach allowed the county to ensure the safety and navigability of the Inlet for local boaters, as well as the preservation of the offshore reef system that provides shelter for more than 500 marine species, including endangered sea turtles.
In fact, the shallow water and "bathtub" effect of the swimming spot is due in part to the reef.
“We have some great beaches in Martin County and throughout Florida, but I’ve always felt more comfortable at this beach because you know that from point A to point B, it doesn’t get more than 3 or 4 feet deep,” incoming Florida Senate President Joe Negron said. “It just feels a little more relaxing, and the kids really enjoy the ability to have so much beach that they can participate in and not have to worry if it gets too deep too quickly.”
Though the reef is a big draw to the area, Commissioner Smith reminded beach-goers that these systems are fragile and shouldn't be walked on or bothered.
More features of the beach’s revival include a renovated pavilion, a restored parking lot with 100 spaces, and new vegetated dunes.
Editor's Note: Please heed any warnings regarding the water conditions at this local spot. Speak up in the local elections to make your concerns heard.
Check out some photos from the restored Bathtub Reef Beach and opening ceremony, below:
The restored Bathtub Reef Beach is unveiled Thursday, June 16.
The reconstructed pavilion on Bathtub Reef Beach, built by Ferreira Construction.
State Sen. Joe Negron talks about his love for Bathtub Reef Beach. "This is family and this is personal to me because we’ve literally spent hundreds of hours at this beach, and it's kind of a right of passage in Martin County to bring your kids to Bathtub Beach," he said.
Martin County Commissioner Doug Smith reminds the community of the fragile reefs located just off shore of the beach.
(From left to right) Martin County Commissioner Doug Smith, Rep. Gayle B. Harrell, Martin County Commission Chair Anne Scott, Sen. Joe Negron, and Sailfish Point POA President Allen Herskowitz, cut the ribbon on the newly renovated Bathtub Reef Beach on Thursday, June 16.
(Photos by Erin West)