On Monday, April 16th, 2012, the rock jetty on the North end of John U. Lloyd State Park has been reopened to visitors. They have also opened the northernmost 200 feet of beach, which has been closed to the public for at least 7 years. Maybe some good shelling on untouched beaches? This also means that snorkeling along the South side of the rock jetty is allowed for the first time in years, if there aren’t too many fishermen there. If you have your Salt Water Fishing License, you might be able to collect live shells (as the fishermen are collecting live fish from the park). I heard in the past that Trivia nix (now named Niveria nix) – the little solid-colored Trivia – are found live there. -submitted by Tom Ball

The following article appeared in the Sun-Sentinel

By Mike Clary, Sun Sentinel

1:47 p.m. EDT, April 16, 2012

For more than seven years, a lack of money and a lot of bureaucratic wrangling left one of Broward County’s best sightseeing spots off-limits to all but crabs and laughing gulls.

Clare Frost, a Dania Beach native, felt the loss of the 1,000-foot rock jetty at John U. Lloyd Beach State Park. “Standing out there is as close to going to sea as you can get without having a boat,” said Frost, 54.

At 2 p.m. Monday, it opened once more, fresh from a $700,000 makeover that includes a new paved walkway on top, stainless steel railings and six designated fishing spots for the disabled.

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The reopening comes just in time for the 23rd annual Fleet Week, which begins April 25, and the Air & Sea Show, which returns April 28 after a 5-year hiatus.

“Being able to stand 50 feet or so from a moving ship, a warship or one of the largest cruise ships in the world, like the Oasis of the Seas, is pretty awesome,” said Carmelo Duesler, a park ranger for 28 years.

The jetty, jutting into the Atlantic Ocean to form the south side of the Port Everglades Inlet, was deemed unsafe and closed in October 2004. Repeated bashings from storms, including hurricanes Frances and Jeanne, had caused some of the underwater rocks to shift and the blacktop walkway to crack.

Although it lies within a state park, the jetty is owned by theU.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the number of state, federal and local agencies with an interest in the rock pile made deciding how to fix it, and who should pay, a nightmare to figure out.

“It was very frustrating to tell people the jetty was closed and that there was no money to fix it,” Duesler said. “They would get angry. I just tried to explain that we had to do whatever we could to keep it safe.”

After years of inaction, Jeff Raley, coastal project manager for the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, led the push to break through what he called “the quagmire of having so many parties involved.”

He helped find a $350,000 grant from the Florida Inland Navigation District, $200,000 from Broward County’s Department of Environmental Protection & Growth Management and Port Everglades, and $150,000 from his own agency.

The work was done in less than four months. Pac Comm Inc., a Miami marine contractor, packed the underlying rocks with sand, hauled in granite fill from Tennesseee and Georgia to plug leaks, and then capped the structure with a smooth concrete walkway.

The contractor also built two groins south of the jetty to slow beach erosion.

“This is a flagship project for us,” said David Juelle, Pac Comm’s director of operations.

The jetty’s importance to the park was plain to see in attendance figures. Visitors dropped by more than 100,000 a year after its closure, said Duesler. The reopening now will mean up to 150,000 more park visitors, with an annual economic impact of $5.9 million, according to state estimates.

Frost, her husband Clive Taylor, 69, and other local residents plan to join a host of public officials Monday for the ceremonial ribbon-cutting.

“When we were kids, there was no walkway on top,” said Frost. “You had to jump from rock to rock and you always got wet. Now the jetty is perfect for families, for children, picnics and fishing. And when the big ships come by, it’s great enterTainment.”