CEPD to conduct meeting on beach renourishment
As part of their community education efforts, the Captiva Erosion Prevention District (CEPD) will conduct a town hall meeting about beach renourishment on Wednesday, March 3 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. as well as on Wednesday, March 31, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Both meetings will be held in the Wakefield Room at ‘Tween Waters Inn, located at 15951 Captiva Drive.
“We want to give people an overview of beach nourishment on Captiva Island and what it looks like. A lot of people don’t know that there have been three nourishment projects on Captiva – one in 1988, one in 1995 and another in 2005. We want to give people a history of beach renourishment and the reasons why it’s important,” said CEPD senior administrator Kathy Rooker.
One of the main reasons beach renourishment is essential, Rooker said, is to protect island homes, businesses and roads from encroaching shorelines and, therefore, water, particularly during storms.
In addition to protecting island infrastructure, renourishment helps to protect and maintain island ecosystems.
“It’s also an investment in a lifestyle, especially for people that live here because they enjoy the beauty of nature,” Rooker said, noting that if Captiva didn’t maintain their beaches, creatures such as sea turtles would have no place to nest.
Beach nourishment is also a crucial process when it comes to the island’s tourist-based economy, Rooker said, citing a survey conducted by Lee County that found 98 percent of visitors come to Lee County for the beaches and, of that 98 percent, the majority said they value wide, sandy beaches over any other beach amenity.
“We’re trying to protect Captiva Island,” she added.
During the meeting, Rooker will also discuss the cost and funding process of beach nourishment.
“At this meeting, we want also want to listen to our constituents. We want to make contact with the people and hear any ideas or concerns that they have. We seek their approval and support,” Rooker said.
Rooker also explained that anyone who is interested in learning more about beach renourishment before the meeting can always come to the CEPD, located in the Celebration Center on Andy Rosse Lane, to ask questions and access materials pertinent to nourishment.
“Beach nourishment is vital to Captiva’s existence,” Rooker said, noting that she encourages all members of the public – residents and visitors – to attend the meetings.
For more information about the CEPD or the upcoming meetings, call 472-2472.