Time is running out for FEMA $1 million to restore Marco Island’s south beach

Three jetties off Marco Island's south beach Thursday look substantial in calm low tide, but in high surf, waves can easily pour over them, Nancy Ritchie, city environmental specialist said Wednesday. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

Three jetties off Marco Island's south beach Thursday look substantial in calm low tide, but in high surf, waves can easily pour over them, Nancy Ritchie, city environmental specialist said Wednesday. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

Beach Advisory Committee members Patti Miller, left, Debbie Roddy, Chairman Kevin Donlan and Bernardo Bezos consider a request for Tourist Development Council money to renourish south beach. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

Beach Advisory Committee members Patti Miller, left, Debbie Roddy, Chairman Kevin Donlan and Bernardo Bezos consider a request for Tourist Development Council money to renourish south beach. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

The high water line to the left shows how far surf reaches on Marco Island's south beach. Erosion has removed over 100,000 cubic yards of sand since 2008. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

The high water line to the left shows how far surf reaches on Marco Island's south beach. Erosion has removed over 100,000 cubic yards of sand since 2008. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

— Four years after Tropical Storm Fay, failing to capture Federal Emergency Management Agency funds could deal another blow to Marco Island’s south beach. Tropical Storm Fay came ashore with winds of 65 mph at Cape Romano in August 2008.

The storm eroded 77,000 cubic yards of sand from south beach, designating it a critically eroded shoreline from marker R-147 near the Somerset Condominium southward. FEMA agreed to share the cost of renourishing the beach but action must be taken by June 30, 2013.

Nancy Richie, city environmental specialist, told Marco Island’s Beach Advisory Committee Wednesday that 104,000 cubic yards of sand would be needed to recover south beach. Sand replacement, estimated at $1.8 million, includes Tropical Storm Fay losses and models by Coastal Planning and Engineering predicting 27 cubic yards of erosion for years 2011-2013. Eroded sand moves southward into Caxambas Pass, Richie said.

In addition, three jetties and a breakwater would need to be repaired to keep wave action from scouring away new sand. Hard structure repairs would cost an additional $1.2 million, placing the total cost at $3 million.

Richie told the committee she accompanied Collier County Commissioner Donna Fiala and Marco Island City Attorney Burt Saunders Tuesday for an on-site visit to see south beach’s erosion. Collier County offers access to south beach through its entrance and parking lot and identifies the beach as a county facility, Richie said.

The beach’s renourishment received approval from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, City of Marco Island, Collier County Coastal Advisory Committee and Tourist Development Council. County commissioners are expected to take up the issue in the next ten days, Richie said.

Funds for the south beach project would come from TDC money and not from taxpayers. Work would need to begin in the fall after turtle nesting season.

In other business, the committee received notification that Tigertail Beach’s boardwalk construction is on hold due to materials shortages. Collier County Project Manager Clint Perryman informed Richie Tuesday that excessive rain in Brazil is impacting harvesting and shipping of hardwoods needed to rebuild five boardwalks and add a sixth.

When material are received the boardwalks could be completed in 60 days, Perryman said. Work on the project began in November 2011.

Thirteen community members have signed up to receive training as Marco Island volunteer beach stewards. The one-hour training is scheduled for Tuesday, May 22. City Manager Jim Riviere approved the beach stewardship program in March.

Graduates of the program will offer information, education and outreach to beach-goers on subjects such as red tide, shelling, bird migration, turtle nesting and beach etiquette. After training, volunteers will sign up to be available on the beach at least several hours a week. Those interested in training can sign up through the City of Marco Island’s website.

Three turtle nests have been identified since May 1 on Marco Island’s beaches: one each on Hideaway Beach, south beach and Sand Dollar Island. In other areas of the county, 14 nests have been identified, Richie said.

The next Beach Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 20, in City Hall’s 1st floor conference room. The next beach cleanup is scheduled for 8 a.m. on Sunday, May 20, at the south beach boardwalk.

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Comments » 9

Throat_Yogurt writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Indyman writes:

Why don't they consider moving the excess beach sand from in front of S. S. Condos to South Beach and Hideaway Beach. That would be a win/win for everyone.

woods311 writes:

What part of 16 trillion in debt doesn't anyone understand?
No federal, printed or borrowed funny money, to rearrange shifting sands.

Fiscal responsibility begins at home.

"I.L.A.C."

Throat_Yogurt writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

1Paradiselost writes:

in response to woods311:

What part of 16 trillion in debt doesn't anyone understand?
No federal, printed or borrowed funny money, to rearrange shifting sands.

Fiscal responsibility begins at home.

"I.L.A.C."

So, are we to let the buildings fall into the sea?

What is your solution to the problem, cut taxes?

bigkillsh writes:

in response to 1Paradiselost:

So, are we to let the buildings fall into the sea?

What is your solution to the problem, cut taxes?

those buildings would make a great near shore or on shore fishing reef . let hideaway beach pay for there own problem . stop leting our $ or tdc time go into the erosion of a beach not everybody can get to or when you get there ( you get the look your mother would give you if you did something wrong ) . does hideaway need another bail out ?

1Paradiselost writes:

in response to bigkillsh:

those buildings would make a great near shore or on shore fishing reef . let hideaway beach pay for there own problem . stop leting our $ or tdc time go into the erosion of a beach not everybody can get to or when you get there ( you get the look your mother would give you if you did something wrong ) . does hideaway need another bail out ?

"MARCO ISLAND — Four years after Tropical Storm Fay, failing to capture Federal Emergency Management Agency funds could deal another blow to Marco Island’s south beach".

The above says nothing about Hideaway Beach. I agree, Hideaway should pay for it's own problems!

chinkley writes:

When Hideaway lets everyone use their beach, then everyone (taxpayers) should help them. Otherwise they need to pay for their high end exclusive living. When all the beach renurishment ends up in Caxambas Pass it ruins boating for the south end of Marco Island. The Corps of Engineers and the Florida EPA will not allow dredging in this area, so the south end of Marco Island is paying in money and also in inability to navigate. Just let Mother Nature take her course and deal with it.

steel23 writes:

Is this beach restoration ever going to take place or did I miss something?

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