BY LIZA STROUT - Lee County has been working on a multi-year plan to renourish the beaches of Gasparilla Island, and once sea turtle nesting season is over, things will move into high gear.
While the project has been in the works since 2009, after Tropical Storm Debby swept past the island last year, the need for renourishment became even more apparent.
The complete project area, from Boca Grande Pass to 17th Street, is listed as critically eroded shoreline by FDEP. It will include 3.1 miles of beachfill.
It should be completed in 2014, and monitoring will continue through at least 2017.
This is not the first beach project for the island, even in recent years. In 2007, more than one million cubic yards of sand were pumped onto Gasparilla Island. At the same time, a derelict groin field, made up of 35 steel sheet piles and pre-cast interlocking units and rubble mound groins was removed.
A decade earlier, GICIA, Lee County and local residents removed 900 feet of derelict seawall.
Erosion rates in the project area are reported to be 7 feet per year. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Beaches and Coastal Systems has designated shoreline along the Gulf-side of Gasparilla Island as critically eroded.
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