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Living Shoreline and Observation Pier Installation

waterway with dredge and boats navigating by in front of Jupiter Lighthouse with nearshore breakwaters being constructed

In 2021, the Jupiter Inlet District constructed a living shoreline at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area (JILONA) in an effort to preserve and protect the rapidly eroding shoreline, create a public access point for recreation and education, and demonstrate the benefits of living shorelines as an alternative to traditional shoreline protection measures.

The project, located on land owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, will stabilize a portion of the site’s rapidly eroding Loxahatchee River shoreline and ensure protection of the unique and significant archaeological and historic resources.  Additionally, the site will serve as an area to educate future generations about ecology that thrives in this beautiful marine habitat.

The living shoreline project includes installation of eleven low-crested, nearshore limestone  breakwaters, minor shoreline contouring with native plantings, and installation of an observation pier.

The breakwaters are designed to reduce the energy from waves and tidal currents that have caused the shoreline to erode. The native limestone breakwaters will also provide valuable hardbottom habitat for fish and wildlife. Plantings along the shoreline will bind sediments and further serve to reduce erosional forces in addition to enhancing habitat. The observation pier affords visitors to the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area (JILONA) impressive views of the Jupiter Inlet and provides opportunities to learn about the important connection between site’s history and the diverse ecology of the Loxahatchee River estuary. The open grated concept of the pier’s deck allows sunlight penetration to ensure seagrasses can continue to grow and thrive.

This living shoreline project was designed to serve as a public demonstration, showcasing living shorelines as an alternative to traditional shoreline protection measures like seawalls, bulkheads, and revetments.  Waterfront homeowners are encouraged to consider the use of living shorelines on private property as an eco-friendly and sustainable alternative.

Construction began in April 2021 and was completed in September.  The total cost for the project was $540,000 with funding from the Jupiter Inlet Disrict and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.  For more information about the project, contact the District at (561) 746-2223.