PHOTOS: Doctors Pass emergency beach renourishment project advances; Seagate Drive project doesn’t

A storm front which passed through Southwest Florida Monday morning further eroded the beach at Doctor's Pass in Naples.   These photos were taken just south of Doctor's Pass where Collier County is planning to begin an emergency beach renourishment project.

A storm front which passed through Southwest Florida Monday morning further eroded the beach at Doctor's Pass in Naples. These photos were taken just south of Doctor's Pass where Collier County is planning to begin an emergency beach renourishment project.

— A portion of a beach south of Doctors Pass could soon be on the mend.

But a Collier County advisory board on Monday was hesitant to recommend work on a stretch of beach south of Seagate Drive that is shrinking as well.

The Collier County tourist development council on Monday voted 4-3 to recommend Collier County commissioners move forward with an emergency beach renourishment project for a stretch of beach south of Doctors Pass.

Though the board opted against recommending an emergency renourishment project for the Seagate area, board members recommended that staff begin the permitting for both beaches.

Collier County Commissioner Fred Coyle, Naples City Councilman John Sorey and board member Edward Olesky cast the dissenting votes, saying they wanted to move forward with the entire project.

Gary McAlpin, the county’s coastal zone manager, said the revised project could cost up to $1.1 million.

The county’s coastal advisory committee last week voted unanimously to recommend a beach renourishment project for both beaches.

Murray Hendel, who serves on both boards, said Monday he originally supported the renourishment project for both beaches but changed his mind over the weekend after walking the Seagate beach.

“I walk the beach every single day. I look at this area every single day,” he said Monday. “For the last five days I’ve been down there looking and looking and looking, (and) bottom line is I don’t see an emergency in the north Park Shore area.”

The coastal advisory board committee’s recommendation came with an up to $1.5 million price tag.

The Seagate, or north Park Shore, area has lost about 3.3 cubic yards of sand per foot of beach, per year since the county’s last major renourishment project in 2006.

The beach south of Doctors Pass has lost 5.9 cubic yards of sand per foot of beach per year since 2006.

The erosion can be blamed on Tropical Storm Fay and a bevy of storms over the winter, McAlpin said.

“Our beaches are more susceptible to smaller storms,” McAlpin said. “The small storms come in and erode our beaches because our beaches are so shallow.”

The sand would be trucked in from a sand pit west of Lake Okeechobee and would be spread with conveyor belts to widen a 1,200-foot stretch south of Doctors Pass.

Collier County commissioners will have the final say on the renourishment project.

The board is expected to discuss the project, and all of the advisory board recommendations, during the May 12 meeting.

Connect with reporter Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster at www.naplesnews.com/staff/jenna-buzzacco

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