Beach Protection

The Town of Jupiter Island was incorporated in 1953.   The unique history of the Town includes one of the longest-running beach nourishment programs in the United States.   Beginning in the 1950’s, Town residents undertook large-scale efforts to protect its beaches and homes constructing seawalls, groins, and other coastal structures, as well as placing additional sand along its shoreline as a buffer to erosion and the impacts of storms. 

 On April 9, 1982, House Bill No. 709 (Appendix A) was enacted by the State Legislature and Governor establishing the Town of Jupiter Island Beach Protection District (referred to herein as the “District”).   The boundaries of the District are coterminous with the Town limits, encompassing all residents.  Being a dependent tax district, the Town Commission also sits as the Commission of the Beach Protection District. 

 The authority of the Beach Protection District as enacted in the legislature, “providing authority for the protection of the beach and lands within the district from erosion and damage from storms, waves, currents, and high water, subject to state and federal permitting requirements; providing for the levy of a special erosion tax; providing for the levy of a special tax for construction and maintenance of erosion control structures on particular properties within the district”.  The District Commission is empowered to “take such action within the district as may be necessary from time to time to protect the interests of the citizens from damage to public or private beaches caused by erosion, storms, tidal waves, tidal currents or high water, subject to state and federal permitting requirements.” 

 The purpose of the Beach Protection District is to effectively fund and administer an erosion protection district, providing a long-term funding mechanism for the Town to protect its own property, as well as the interests of the residents and public at large on Jupiter Island.  The source of funding for the Beach Protection District is a dedicated Ad Valorem tax (“Erosion Tax”) on all real properties within the Town.  The maximum millage to be levied is up to ten (10) mills. The erosion tax may be levied annually by the District Commission and shall be certified to the Tax Collector of Martin County for inclusion in the tax bills – designated as "Erosion Tax". 

 The primary goal of the District is to protect the Town’s beaches/shorelines from the effects of erosion, thereby protecting public and private lands.