'Slow speed' buoys may be one answer to erosion at Hideaway Beach

Joe Gardner, left, and Erik Brechnitz, chair of the Hideaway Beach Tax District Board, reference a map Thursday showing the topography of the shoreline along the north beachhead of the gated community. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Corespondent

Joe Gardner, left, and Erik Brechnitz, chair of the Hideaway Beach Tax District Board, reference a map Thursday showing the topography of the shoreline along the north beachhead of the gated community. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Corespondent

Roger Jacobsen, harbor master for the City of Naples, explains the steps required to permit “slow speed” buoys. Jacobsen spoke Thursday at a meeting of the Hideaway Beach Tax District Board. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Roger Jacobsen, harbor master for the City of Naples, explains the steps required to permit “slow speed” buoys. Jacobsen spoke Thursday at a meeting of the Hideaway Beach Tax District Board. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

— Sand loss on the north end of Hideaway Beach isn’t natural. The Hideaway Beach Tax District Board and Marco Island city staff believe the cause may be manmade.

Boats are running too fast and too close to shore, they agreed.

Boaters moving through Big Marco Pass may be undoing what Hideaway residents paid $1.7 million dollars in 2013 to fix: erosion on Hideaway’s north beach. The beach was renourished using tax district funds and a $350,000 grant for T-groin construction from Collier County.

The city has a beach ordinance that controls what speeds must be observed close to beaches, Nancy Richie, the city’s environmental specialist, told the board.

In September 1998, the city passed an ordinance prohibiting vessels to exceed idle speed within 500 feet offshore from all sandy beaches. That distance was expanded to 750 feet in October 2008.

Looking for methods to inform boaters, the board turned to Roger Jacobsen, harbor master for the City of Naples.

A piling and sign warning boaters to slow down was placed in the water off the beach, but it has since disappeared.

Jacobsen said replacing the sign would be costly and tough to permit. He suggested “no wake” or “slow speed zone” buoys placed at intervals in the water along the beach.

Off the beach, the coastline bottom drops off steeply. If buoys were placed 500 feet offshore, they would be anchored around 35 feet deep. That drop-off may be the reason boaters move closer to the Hideaway Beach side of the pass.

Buoys are much easier to permit and maintain, Jacobsen told the board. Each is held in place by an anchor and chain with an underwater float the keeps the chain off the bottom. That reduces wear on the chain, Jacobsen explained.

He suggested the board consider purchasing eight buoys and placing them at 1000-foot intervals.

Jacobsen outlined the steps the board would have to take to permit the buoys. Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Service would need a request for permitting and would have 90 days to respond.

The U.S. Coast Guard would have to look at the project and approve it, and the Army Corps of Engineers would need to issue a letter agreeing to the permit.

Before any steps were taken, the board would need permission to proceed from Marco Island’s City Council, Tim Pinter, the city’s public works director, told the board. The city would become the petitioner in any permits issued within city limits.

The board discussed funding the permitting process and materials. As of Dec. 31, the taxing district had cash-on-hand of $573,456.

Jacobsen said the cost of buoys was relatively cheap but replacements were needed frequently. Some areas take in their buoys during Hurricane Season, he said.

The board discussed looking at all future funding it needs to cover. Erik Brechnitz, the board’s chairman, asked city staff to compile a list of ongoing expenses for shore monitoring and beach maintenance for the next four years.

At the next meeting, the board will discuss future budgets and possibly reducing the special tax assessment levied on the gated community’s residents. That meeting was set for 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, in City Hall’s first floor conference room.

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Comments » 12

1Paradiselost writes:

It's an easy fix.. Build 5 200 foot long rock and stone finger Jettys right into the river.

That will take care of the problem.

Or bring back Coconut Island!

Konfuzius writes:

That s the spot on Marco Island were billionaires chasing out the millionaires unhappy that the Marco Island airport is closed for three month and want everything to maintain paid by the tax-payers money of the working class.

Typical real American socialism.

1Paradiselost writes:

This story is the warm up for asking the taxpayers to foot the bill for their private beach!

johnrossetti20#270017 writes:

When the wind blows 15mph from northwest seas are 2 to 4 feet with a period of 4 seconds. That is 90 impacts an hour or 7,200 over 8 hour period. The impact of boat traffic in relation to mother nature is insignificant. The benefits of this possible "solution" pale in comparison to the navigational hazard these bouys will cause at night.

tikihut2206 writes:

in response to Konfuzius:

That s the spot on Marco Island were billionaires chasing out the millionaires unhappy that the Marco Island airport is closed for three month and want everything to maintain paid by the tax-payers money of the working class.

Typical real American socialism.

really people worth billions on Marco..Don't think think so..if you are so anti American..why the hell are you here....

marco826 writes:

I'm tired of hearing about Hideaway Beach. Let them resolve their own issues. They knew the risks when moving there just as I know the risks of my own properties. Marco Island city staff believe the cause may be manmade. Boats are running too fast and too close to shore, they agreed. This my friends is pure unadulterated B.S.....

Konfuzius writes:

in response to marco826:

I'm tired of hearing about Hideaway Beach. Let them resolve their own issues. They knew the risks when moving there just as I know the risks of my own properties. Marco Island city staff believe the cause may be manmade. Boats are running too fast and too close to shore, they agreed. This my friends is pure unadulterated B.S.....

You are right. That's their problem. Not ours. They denied beach access use their beach private and ask me and my tax$$$ to pay for them??? Who pays for my sea wall if damaged by corrosion?

Konfuzius writes:

in response to johnrossetti20#270017:

When the wind blows 15mph from northwest seas are 2 to 4 feet with a period of 4 seconds. That is 90 impacts an hour or 7,200 over 8 hour period. The impact of boat traffic in relation to mother nature is insignificant. The benefits of this possible "solution" pale in comparison to the navigational hazard these bouys will cause at night.

Absolute correct. That is like TSA on airports or if you put a sign on "slow speed"! People believe the government take care. The opposite is very often true. Same with idle speed zones for protect Manatees reasons in areas they did not see a Manatee over years or ever because their is no grass on the bottom. .

marco826 writes:

in response to Konfuzius:

You are right. That's their problem. Not ours. They denied beach access use their beach private and ask me and my tax$$$ to pay for them??? Who pays for my sea wall if damaged by corrosion?

If Hideaway Beach Owners pay for my seawall, I'll agree to help pay for their buoy's....

ajm3s writes:

"Sand loss on the north end of Hideaway Beach isn’t natural. The Hideaway Beach Tax District Board and Marco Island city staff believe the cause may be manmade."

God help us ALL....if city staff believe the cause may be man-made, may I suggest a quick primer in oceanographic studies.

This is local government gone bonkers!

Konfuzius writes:

in response to tikihut2206:

really people worth billions on Marco..Don't think think so..if you are so anti American..why the hell are you here....

You post BS. I like my Americans but I do not like bloggers will make me believe they are democrats and a NJ girl in reality nothing else than another blogger name of islandeye, WMissow or what ever. Your identity is exposed. Michellllleeeeee!!!!!!!!

captnjimbo writes:

in response to johnrossetti20#270017:

When the wind blows 15mph from northwest seas are 2 to 4 feet with a period of 4 seconds. That is 90 impacts an hour or 7,200 over 8 hour period. The impact of boat traffic in relation to mother nature is insignificant. The benefits of this possible "solution" pale in comparison to the navigational hazard these bouys will cause at night.

I almost gagged as I read the story. Totally agree with johnr. They are totally exposed to the natural elements and boat traffic does not come steadily or with the force. Groins or rip rap the answer. We all built our house upon the sand and sand moves.

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