MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla . - Beaches are the lifeblood of tourism along the Space Coast, and because of this, Brevard County will be spending millions to lure more visitors.
Some $16 million will be poured into building up their beaches. They hope to stay competitive in a state that has countless vacation options.
"We have to maintain our beaches. It is not only important for the property owners along the beach, but it is critical for tourism. There are a lot of great beaches all over Florida that people can choose from," said Peter Cranis, the Space Coast Office of tourism director.
Cranis said the goal is to add 60 feet to the area by pumping sand through the shore. The project is paid for with federal hurricane response funds and about $2 million of county funds.
"When you look at the return on investment for what it costs to maintain the beaches, versus what tourists spend, I mean, we get close to $2 billion in visitor spending in a given year. So to spend $10 million, $20 million to maintain that beach, it is really important," Cranis said.
Cranis said they are starting out in Melbourne Beach and moving to Cocoa Beach in a few months. He sai it’s a lot of money, but he feels it's worth the investment. Project directors say the Melbourne Beach renourishment should be finished in about two to three months.
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