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Venice Beach is one of five beaches across the nation to receive the 2008 Best Restored Beaches Award presented by the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association.
Venice Beach was originally restored in 1994 and 1996, followed by a 10-year restoration in 2005. The United States Army Corps of Engineers in conjunction with the City of Venice Engineering Department placed close to 1 million cubic yards of sand along 3.3 miles of beach, extending the beach system above the water about 130 feet seaward.
The restoration enhanced sea vegetation to help prevent future erosion, increased sea turtle and shore bird nesting habitat, enhanced tourism, which is an important part of the local economy, and added protection to public and private property from destruction by wave action. Venice has more beach available to the public than almost any other beach in Florida.
The final phase of the latest restoration project is the placement of seven mitigation reefs just offshore from Venice, which was recently completed.
Other recipients of the 2008 award are Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle, Wash.; Destin and Walton County, Fla.; Kuhio Beach in Waikiki, Hawaii; North Boca Raton Beach, Fla.; and Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.
Judging was based on the economic and ecological benefits the beach brings to its community; the short- and long-term success of the restoration project; and the challenges each community overcame during the course of the project.
American Shore and Beach Preservation Association was founded in 1926. The ASBPA award was created in 2001 to recognize the value of America’s restored beaches. Beach restoration enhances storm protection, habitat restoration and recreation. For more information, see www.asbpa.org.