The shoreline at the south end of Amelia Island has long been plagued by chronic erosion and seasonal nor’easters. In 1992 a particularly strong, six-day storm left the natural dunes almost completely destroyed and threatened to undermine several buildings along the Amelia Island Plantation shoreline. That near catastrophe prompted the formation in 1993 of the South Amelia Island Shore Stabilization Association (SAISSA),Inc. whose stated purpose is “to protect, preserve, restore and enhance the beach/dune system on the South end of Amelia Island.” 

Since its formation, SAISSA has worked with its consultants to find solutions to our erosion problems, worked with State and Federal Officials to permit projects targeted at solving these problems and worked with our 2000+ property owners to find ways to finance our stabilization and maintenance efforts of the beach/dune system. Since 1994, these efforts have accomplished three separate beach renourishments and the construction of three structures. The most recent restoration was completed in August of 2011 in partnership with the Florida Park Service and Nassau County, Florida. 

For more information about the history of our engineered beach and specific details of the projects, click on the appropriate links at the top of this page.

This website is the place to come for all the information you want about the preservation and protection of our beautiful beach!

Progress Through the Years...


Events Calendar

September 2019
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29 30          

SAISSA Documents



May 2019 -

The SAISSA Trustees have recommended a total maintenance budget $1,160,562 for FY20. This includes an operating budget of $716,416 and reserves of $444,146. However, we will only need a maintenance assessment of $378,993 to support the FY20 budget. The balance of the funds required of the FY20 budget are being carried over from the FY 19 budget. First, permitting delays caused certain tasks budgeted for FY19 to be pushed off into FY20. Second, only a few thousand dollars of the reserves were needed in FY19, which allows the balance of the Reserves to be carried forward for FY20. Click on Budget link to view proposed FY2019-20

March 2019-

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has published the following PUBLIC NOTICE and the documents regarding beach project impacts from Hurricanes Matthew and Irma:

Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the South Amelia Island Re-nourishment Project
Supplemental Environmental Assessment Appendices

These documents can be viewed or download by clicking on the highlighted phases.


December 2018-

SAISSA with its partners have submitted our Joint Application for Joint Coastal Permit/Authorization to use sovereignty Submerged Lands to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and our Federal Dredge and Fill Permit to the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) in mid December. This
Application is our first for the new fifteen year permit which will allow us to construct one project now and another at the next re-nourishment interval. This extended permit will allow SAISSA to respond much quicker if we are unfortunately impacted by a storm event that requires beach repairs or even a major re-nourishment. The borrow area proposed in this permit is unique in that it is designed to mimic the natural tidal channel alignments through the inlet south-southeast of the south tip of Amelia Island. Our Engineers expect that we will be able to re-dredge the same borrow area providing SAISSA with a ‘renewable’ sand source for future project nourishments. As an added benefit, our new borrow area
will also functions as a new northerly channel that is projected to divert a significant portion of the Nassau Sound’s tidal flow away from the emergent shoals (known as the Bird Island Shoals). This diversion is expected to reduce the erosional pressures on these emergent shoals, allowing them to form and persist for longer periods of time. These shoals are important for shorebird resting and
foraging. The complete Application can be reviewed or downloaded by clicking on this PERMIT link. Around the end of January, we expect the first round of questions or Requests for Additional Information known as RAIs from FDEP and other State Agencies. About the same time, we expected to receive the Public Notice from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Public Notice will kick off public questions and comments as well the reviews by other Federal Agencies. By June or July we expect to have all the major issues identified but it will take additional months to actually secure all the Project Permits.

October, 2018-

The SAISSA Board of Trustees released the Year-Seven Post-Construction Physical Monitoring Report (click link for full report). Our Coastal Engineering Consultant, Olsen Associates, Inc. found the beach experienced a net ACCRETION over the last nine months since the post-Irma survey. The SAISS Project gained over 138,000 cubic yards (cy) above Mean High Water. This equates to an average of 8.7 cubic
yards of sand per foot of the project shoreline. The sand appears to have come from Off-shore areas, which lost an average of 15.5 cubic yards per foot of below Mean High Water. The net loss from the SAISS Project over the nine month period is 107,200 cubic yards. While the accretion above Mean High Water is welcome, the long term trend continues to be negative. Measured above the -8ft. NAVD88, the Project’s annual loss rate over the nearly 7-Yr. period, the average loss has been -224,200 cy/yr. Should that average rate continue for the next two years, in 2020, the project is projected to then have lost an estimated 2.0 million cubic yards, the same volume placed in 2011.


October, 2018-

FDEP Agreement 19NA1 (click to view) was approved by the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners Acting as the SAISS MSBY Governing Body  in September and by the Secretary of the Florida Department of environmental Protection in October, 2018.  This Agreement provided State Cost-sharing to the SAISS MSBU to reimburse the District 40.36%  of the cost of the Year Eight (FY 2019) Shorebird Monitoring.  This  grant is up to $4,157.  They will also reimburse the District 40.36% of the cost  of the Construction Document for the Third Renourishment Project.  This grant is up to $97,296.  The total Grant will reimburse the District up to $101,453  on total expenditures up to $285,300.

August, 2018-

SAISSA’s Coastal Engineer, Dr. Al Browder, estimated the Third Maintenance will cost $20 million.  The Probable Cost to Construct (click to view) was presented to the SAISSA Trustees at their August 15, 2018 Board meeting.   Having a reasonable cost figure for the Third Renourishment will allow for SAISSA to plan loan amounts, cost sharing contributions, homeowner assessments and contingency plans for the successful completion of the project.  A reasoned estimate is especially important given that the project is at least two years from the August Opinion. 

July, 2018-

The Nassau County Board of County Commissioners acting as the SAISS MSBU Governing Board approved the Local Government Funding Request (LGFR)  requested by the SAISSA Trustees, to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for FY 2019-2020 State Cost-sharing program.   The Application’s focus with the State Cost Sharing Request for the State’s FY 2019- 2020 Fiscal Year.  The  request is for $7.643 million. Most of this request is cost-sharing or the Third  Renourishment and a small component, $132,000 is for Monitoring reimbursements.  

July, 2018-

Andrew L. Wallace, SAISSA President,  with assistance from Dr. Al Browder, P.E.,  A.I. Jacobs, Esq., Board Attorney and William R. Moore AICP, Project Manager, updated the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on July 18, 2018 with the a slide program (click to view).  This presentation reinforced the importance of the on-going beach program, identified the variables related to renourishment timing and offered a Preliminary Opinion of Probable Cost for the next nourishment.  President Wallace, reported that SAISSA continues to monitor beach conditions but at the earliest the renourishment can’t occur before the spring-summer of 2020  assuming the beach warrants a renourishment and all Federal and State Permits will be available.


February, 2018-

.   This report documents the impacts of Hurricane Irma on the
engineered beach.  Hurricane Irma impacted the South Amelia Shore
Stabilization Project from September 9-12, 2017 with elevated storm surge
and damaging storm waves.  Elevated surge levels, peaking over 6.34 ft,
NAVD88 (~3.95 ft above the Mean High water), impacted the shoreline for
nearly 2 days and wave heights exceeding 20 ft occurred at the edge of the
project limits .  The wave and tidal surge conditions combined to produce
wave run-up exceeding 10-11 ft, NAVD, based upon the observation of wave
over-wash of sand and wrack debris.  Erosion damage to the engineered beach
as a result of Hurricane Irma is a loss of 134,100 cy of beach sand.  Of
that total, 126,050 cy occurred along the SAISSA Shoreline segment of the
Project and 8,050 cy along the Amelia Island State Park shoreline segment.

January, 2018-

FDEP Agreement 17NA1 (click to view) was approved by the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners Acting as the SAISS MSBU Governing Body  and by the Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in January, 2018.  This Agreement provided State Cost-sharing to the SAISS MSBU to reimburse the District 40.80%  of the cost of the Year Five (2016) and Year Seven (2018) Post-Construction Physical Monitoring; and, Year Five (2016), Year Six (2017) and Year Seven (2018) Shorebird Monitoring.  The monitoring portion of the grant is up to $132,069.60.  This Agreement also will also reimburse the District 39.21% of the cost  of Design and Permitting Tasks for the Third Renourishment Project.  The Design and Permitting portion of the grant is up to $312,062.40.  The total Grant will reimburse the District up to $444,132  on total expenditures up to $1,119,574.50.


·        The 1st Application for reimbursement of $104,317.08 was paid in July 2018.


September, 2017-

Hurricane Irma impacted the South Amelia Island Shore Stabilization Project between September 9th and September 12th, 2017 with elevated storm surge and damaging storm waves.  The storm created significant erosion of the engineered beach nourishment project.  Immediately following the storm, the Executive Committee of SAISSA requested and the County Manager agreed to authorize our Coastal Engineering Consultant, Olsen Associates to conduct a preliminary damage assessment.  Using pre- and post-Hurricane Irma photographic records  from a several sources, our Coastal Engineer estimated that we lost 211, 800 cubic yards of sand from the upper beach of the Project.  Based upon the gage data for wave heights and water levels, and observations of wrack debris and sand over wash, the wave and tidal surge conditions combined to produce wave action and wave run-up exceeding 10 to 11 ft.  Besides the sand loss, the vegetation and pioneer dune line typically receded 10 to 15 feet.  However, the dune recession and erosion were greater (20 to 40 feet)  in those areas were foot paths through the dune field are heavily used.  The full report PRELIMINARY DAMAGE ASSESSMENT with its photographic evidence can read or downloaded by clicking on “ASSESSMENT”.


The Preliminary Report helps to quantify the dollars losses for the County but in order to qualify for FEMA reimbursements for actual sand losses from the Engineered Beach, SAISSA and the County also authorized full survey of the project. The survey will extend out 1800 to 2000 feet from mean low water into about 25 to 30 feet of water. This work commenced the last week in September.  In order to qualify for FEMA Assistance under Category G of post-disaster relief from the FEMA Public Assistance Program,  the sand must be fully lost to the project and not just in some off-shore and capable of being washed back on-shore  in the subsequent tidal cycles.  Our Post-storm Design Survey & Analysis Report actually identified increased losses but each storm has different impacts so we won’t know until the survey is completed and analyzed  and we can quantify the losses eligibility for FEMA assistance.  


September, 2017-

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a project to Nassau County to reimburse the South Amelia Island Shore Stabilization Project for the cost to replace 218,500 cubic yards of sand  lost in Hurricane Matthew in October of 2016.  The replacement as part of engineered re-nourishment  is estimated cost of $2,311,730.  This Category “G” reimbursement includes a prorated shared of engineering and permitting costs.  The full details of the FEMA Project  Worksheet can be read or downloaded by click on “worksheet”.  The FEMA Project Worksheet for Hurricane Matthew is support by our Post-storm Design Survey & Analysis Report  (April, 2017).

April, 2017

SAISSA has released the just-completed analysis of the impact of Hurricane Matthew on the south Amelia Island & beaches. SAISSA’s coastal engineering consultant found the October 2016 Hurricane removed an estimated 282,900 cubic yards of sand from the project limits.   Hurricane Matthew impacted the Amelia Island engineered beach on October 7-8, 2016.   The Storm traveled northward just offshore of the Island on October 7th as a Category 2/3 hurricane & Our shoreline was impacted for approximately 12-18 hours and experienced sustained surge levels that peaked to 7.4 feet above the normal mean tide level (and roughly 4.5 ft. above the day’s predicted high tide).  Based on observations of wave overwash of sand and wrack debris, wave and tidal surge conditions along the shoreline combined to produce overwash flows exceeding 12 feet above the normal mean tide level.  Buoys indicated that storm waves just offshore of the island reached heights of over 20 ft during the storm’s passage. 

The next step is for FEMA and the State to review the report and develop the Federal and State storm-damage reimbursement for the cost of replacing lost sand at the time of our next re-nourishment project. The Post-storm Design Survey & Analysis Report prepared by Olsen Associates can be viewed and/or downloaded by clicking on the Post-Storm link.

Drew Wallace, SAISSA President, Bill Moore, SAISSA Project Manager and Dr. Al Browder, Coastal Engineer presented a talk to the members of the Amelia Island Plantation Community Association on April 27, 2017. A copy of the talk slides may be view or downloaded by clicking on this Link.

October, 2016-

Olsen Associates completed the Year 5 Post- Construction Monitoring Report for the
SAISSA Beach Project covering the period June 2015 to May 2016.  This report
contains the following sections which may be reviewed or downloaded with the
following links:

Executive Summary Report
Appendix A - Survey part 1 | part 2
Appendix B - Beach Profiles
Appendix C - Orthorectified Photography
Appendix D - Nassau Sound part 1 | part 2
Appendix E - Obilque Aerial Photography
Appendix F - Shoreline Change Tables
Appendix G - Morphological Change Nassau Sound

Olsen Associates surveyed the beach damage from Hurricane Matthew. Their
findings, including images, can be found in the two documents below:

Beach Debris Report | Damage Assessment


May, 2016-

Al Browder gave a brief presentation on the Final Report related to the Offshore
Marine Geological Investigation. The following is a summary of the effort in terms
of its importance to SAISSA.  Also attached is BOEM authorization report including
appendices A, B, and C.  The raw data associated with the research has not been
uploaded but is available by CD for those interested.

July, 2015-

SAISSA Board of Trustees has recommended the adoption of Maintenance Assess-
ment for FY 2015-16. A Maintenance Assessment of $642,422 is need to fund re-
quired on-going project monitoring activities, operating expenses as well as design
/permitting cost for our next re-nourishment project scheduled for 2020. This is an
average of about $246 per residential unit.  Click here to read and download July
23rd letter summarizing FY2015-16 Maintenance Assessment proposal.

July, 2015-

SAISSA Board of Trustees announces the end of Capital Assessments to pay the
debt service on the SAISS Special Capital Assessment Bonds, Series 2011. The
Bond Issue approved in 2011 to fund the 2011 Beach Re-nourishment Project re-
quired annual assessment through 2019. SAISSA is able to reduce the FY 2015-16
Capital Assessment by $535,254 and completely eliminate all Capital Assessments
for the last three years of the SAISS Special Capital Assessment Bond term. This
unprecedented action is because the SAISS Project received a $4.3 million grant
from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection that reimburses the pro-
ject for 39.21% of the project’s costs including permitting expenses and the first
two years of post-construction monitoring. Click here to read and download July
23rd letter summarizing FY2015-16 Capital Assessment proposal.

June, 2015-

Olsen Associates completed the Phase I-Reconnaissance Level- Report on Borrow
Site Development. This Report reviews and compiles existing geotechnical data
describing sediment characteristics and potential for beach-compatible sand in the
vicinity of the South End of Amelia Island, Florida. Click here to review or down-
load complete report.

March 2015 -

The 2011 Beach Construction Permit requires us to monitor shorebirds with winter and summer surveys for the life of the project. This includes marking and roping-off critical shorebird nesting areas with signs and stakes as well as assisting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) educate beach users as to the need to protect nesting shorebirds. The monitoring component is contracted to Scheda Ecological Associates of Tampa, Florida and the protection activities are contracted to Amelia Naturally. AIPCA, SAISSA and FWC are co- sponsoring a program on SHARING AMELIA’S BEACHES WITH NESTING SHOREBIRDS. The public is invited to the 3 PM presentation on March
18, 2015 at Walker’s Landing. Additionally, we are assisting FWC distribute flyers
to resort guests through the rental agents. Click here to review flyer.


February, 2015 - 

Drew Wallace, President of the SAISSA Board of Trustees, distributed to property
owners a summary of Board Actions from the February 11, 2015 Board Meeting.
Click here to review this quarterly update on SAISSA activities.

The SAISSA Trustees adopted a Property Owner and Public Information Program at
the February Board of Trustees Meeting.  This is an ambitious effort and includes
many different touch points.  The backbone of the informational effort will be per-
iodic letter predominately distributed by email to property owners in order to keep
them updated on current activities.  For a complete review of this six point pro-
gram, Click here.

January 2015 -

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection awarded the South Amelia
Island Beach Project $4,263,932.82 to reimburse project costs for the 2011 Beach
Nourishment.  The grant represented 39.21 % of the eligible design, construction
and monitoring costs.  Please Click here to review the contract and scope of the
grant.  In order to maximize the benefit of the grant, the proceeds have been in-
vested in fully collateralized Certificate of Deposits timed to mature as needed to
pay debt service on the Project Bonds.  The grant proceeds and interested earned
will be sufficient to completely pay the debt service for the last three years of the
Special Assessment Bond Issue (2017-2019) and to pay 30% the debt service for
next year (2016).  As a result of the strategy, the  property owners in the SAISSA-
MSBU saved an additional $211,000 over simple pre-payment of outstanding prin-

November, 2014 -

Dr. James Houston, Director Emeritus of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Research and Development Center and a prominent coastal engineer, scientist and researcher spoke to an interest audience at Amelia Island Plantation, November 6, 2014. Dr. James Houston has published more than 170 technical reports and papers and won numerous honors and awards. With a career of 38 years with the US Army Corps of Engineers, Dr. Houston talked about “The Value of Florida’s Beaches” and “Sea Level Rise”.  Click here to view both of Dr. Houston’s presentations (single PDF).

September, 2014 -
The Year Three Post-Construction Monitoring Report found that the entire shoreline
from American Beach to the A1A Bridge experienced a net gain of +744,800 Cubic
Yards (CY) during the reporting           
period. This net gain is principally related to the direct placement of +581,000 CY
of sand dredged from the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) between June
2013 and November 2013 and            
placed along the Amelia Island State Park Shoreline south of the rock breakwater.
Gains were also observed at the north end of the project and northward thereof
into American Beach. This gain is attributed in part to the stabilizing effect of the
AIWW fill and in part to an influx of sand north of the project site. Notwith-
standing the net gain in sand volume, the mean high water (MHW) retreated by
a weighted average of almost 15 feet and for the three years of the Project, the
shoreline has lost 261,900 CY at an average annual rate of 87,300 CY per year.
This rate is expected to increase with time and match historical rates.  Click here 
to review the entire report (under Documents > 2011 Renourishment, 3 parts).

May 2014 -
SAISSA General Counsel, Arthur I.Jacobs announced that the SAISSA Board of
Trustees did not 
violate any sunshine laws or illegally destroy sea oats. A complaint
was filed with the Florida Attorney 
General alleging that the Board of Trustees
deliberately denied citizens the opportunity to speak at 
Board Meetings, held
meetings without proper notification and willfullydestroyed sea oats when the 
beach was tilled in February 2013 and March 2014. These allegations were investi-
gated by the Florida 
Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Department
of Environmental Protection. As to 
potential violations of State Sunshine Laws,
FDLE reported that no violations were found. As to the 
allegation of willful des-
truction of sea oats, the Florida Department ofEnvironmental Protection invest-
igated the complaint and determined that the compliant may have misunderstood
the requirements of 
the Joint Coast Permit andthe special condition requiring
nourished beaches to be tilled for three 
years following a re-nourishment project.
Both complaints were closed by their respective agencies.

April 2014 -
To address impact concerns
to soft bottom communities at the offshore borrow site, a benthic macrofauna monitoring program was developed with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
The Year-2 Post-Construction bathymetric survey suggests the borrow site is in-filling and the sampling for biological monitoring shows that the surface sediments in the site are predominantly dark silt/mud. The monitoring has shown that the benthic communities have changed significantly due to the transition in sediment types. That condition is not expected to change in the next few years unless a major change in sediments occurs (perhaps due to future storms). Given the sediment conditions, the biologist recommended that monitoring not continue in 2014. Click Here to read or print the complete report.

February 2014 -
Coastal Eco-Group of Deerfield Beach Florida a subcontract to Olsen Associates has determined from the Year-2 Biological Monitor studies that the recovery objectives specified in the Beach Macrofauna Monitoring Plan have been sufficiently met that additional Biological Monitoring can be suspended. If this recommendation is accepted, the suspension of the Year-3 program will save approximately $55,000 in Bond Funds scheduled for 2013-2014 that can be paid to retire bond debt.
Please review the complete Report by clicking the Link below:Spring 2013 - Year 2 - Post Construction Final Report

November 2013 -
The Year Two Post Construction Monitoring Report (June 2012 to June 2013) for the 2011 South Amelia Island Beach Nourishment was released by Olsen Associates. Based on the 2013 beach monitoring surveys, the South Amelia Island Shore Stabilization Project has met Project goals. Despite a more severe wave climate over the two years than average, the project performance was basically equivalent to the 1994 and 2002 beach fills. In the net, the 2011 nourishment lost approximately 673,800 CY or 33 percent of the total place volume over the first 22 months.
Please review the complete Reports by clicking on the following file Link:
> Year Two Post-Construction Monitoring Report and Documents

August 2013 -
The SAISSA Trustees have re-released three significant studies concerning Beach and Dune Preservation on Amelia Island. The studies can be read or downloaded click the following links:
1) 1985 Shoreline Stabilization Analysis [79-pgs]
2) 1990 Beach and Dune Preservation Feasibility Study [203-pgs]
3) 1999 Shoreline Change Rates [54-pgs]


July 2013 -
Nassau Sound provides outstanding waters for sport fisherman. The Sound of Tarpon by Terry Lacoss published in the July 2013 issue of Florida Sportsman details the excitement and thrill of fishing for Tarpon in and around Nassau Sound. Click Here for the full story.

July 2013 -
The US Army Corps of Engineers will begin the dredging of the Sawpit Creek portion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in July. The navigation project on behalf of the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) is expected to result in an estimated 578,999 cubic yards of material for a severely eroded section of the Amelia Island State Park immediately south of the SAISS Project Breakwater at the north end of the State Park.
Click Here to view the full story of this disposal project that will benefit the SAISS Project.

April 2013 -
The 2011 SAISS Project Permits required Pre-Construction and Post-Construction monitoring of Macroinvertebrate critters in both its offshore borrow site and in the placed beach fill. This benthic macrofauna/infauna study prepared by Coastal Eco-Group of Deerfield Beach, Florida, was completed in April 2013.

Click Here to read and review the full report [64-pgs].

Amelia Island Appendices (1-4) Final - April 2013 [31-pgs]
Appendix A - June 2012 Survey Drawings [12-pgs]
Appendix B - June 2012 Beach Profiles [44-pgs]
Appendix C - April 2012 Orthorectified Aerial Photography [14-pgs]
Appendix D - April 2012 Nassau Sound Aerial Photography
Appendix E - 2012 Oblique Aerial Photography [23-pgs]

September 2012 -
Year One Monitoring Report shows that the 2011 Project loss was only 86,600 cy while achieving a significant level of post-fill beach equilibration. Click Here to read and review entire report [44-pgs].

April 2012 -

Engineered Beach Documentation completed that would allow a timely and favorable determination by FEMA that the SAISS Project is eligible for post-disaster funding for reconstruction should major damage occur to the beach during a federally declared disaster. Click Here for more information.

October 2011 -
Nor'easter speeds up equilibration process and for an explanation of equilibration Click Here .