U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to host public meeting on Collier storm risk management
On the heels of Hurricane Dorian’s destructive forces battering the Bahamas and meandering up the east coast, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will present plans to bolster Collier’s coastal resilience to storm surge and sea-level rise.
The Corps will deliver a presentation on its Florida Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) Feasibility study at 5 p.m. Monday at the Collier County Government Center.
"We've been working with the Corps since October of last year," said Collier coastal projects manager Gary McAlpin. "[They've] been doing engineering studies working with us and our engineering consultant on how we can improve our coastal infrastructure to protect beaches and upland structures."
Collier County is a non-federal sponsor of the study, and two or more members of the Board of County Commissioners may attend and participate at the meeting, a county news release says.
The Corps has been awarded a $3 million federal grant for the study, McAlpin said.
"[The Corps] developed with us a series of potential solutions that would involve structural and nonstructural solutions to address areas of the county," he said. "The solutions we would employ deal with protection for storm surge and sea-level rise with focus on storm surge."
The study's focus is on Vanderbilt, Park Shore and Naples beaches as well as Marco Island south beaches, McAlpin said.
This will be the last public meeting before the Corps tentatively releases its plan in January. The county would have an opportunity to augment the plan if it wanted.
"We have flexibility to do what we want to do," McAlpin said, "but flexibility comes with a price."
Invitations have been sent to condominiums throughout the county as well as city councils, commissioners and the coastal advisory board.
"This is a big deal, a very significant study," McAlpin said. "There's long-term potential impact if you look at all the issues the county is facing with climate change, storm surge and increased hurricanes. This way we protect the county as much as possible working with federal government."
The public will have an opportunity to comment on the study and any alternative solutions presented.
Hurricane Michael's wind pushes the waves close to the dune in Naples, FL. Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. H. Leo Kim, Naples Daily News
The problems the study is meant to address, according to a Corps presentation, are:
- Intensity and frequency of hurricanes is increasing.
- Narrow and shallow beaches face threats from storm surge
- Beach and shoreline erosion
- Storm surge threats to commercial and residential infrastructure and recreation
The solutions are intended to make beaches higher, wider and stronger, McAlpin said. Solutions will also encompass back bays and the effects storm surges has as the water recedes back into the ocean.
Members of the public who are not able to attend the meeting can submit their comments to David Schulte of the Corps by Oct. 12. Schulte can be reached by email at: David.M.Schulte@usace.army.mil, by phone at 757-201-7746 or by mail at:
ATTN: David Schulte
Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District
Fort Norfolk, 803 Front St.
Norfolk, VA 23510
More information on the study can be found on the U.S. Army Corps' website: https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/CollierCountyCSRMFeasibilityStudy/
Karl Schneider is an environment reporter at Naples Daily News. Follow him on Twitter: @karlstartswithk