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Coastal erosion monitoring under way

By Staff | Feb 1, 2013

JIM LINETTE Sanibel beachgoers and shellers may notice a crew from Sea Diversified surveying the beach to monitor erosion from last summer's storms.

On Jan. 21, the City of Sanibel began surveying the island’s beaches to monitor coastal erosion and accretion. This work will not interfere with access or usage of any of the beaches and takes approximately three weeks to complete.

“The weather dictates how long it will take,” said Sanibel Public Works director Keith Williams. “A report will be made and presented to City County probably at its March meeting.”

This year’s winter monitoring project was awarded to Sea Diversified, Inc. It is half funded by the Tourist Development Council with the remaining half funded by city beach parking fees. The project is part of a continuing effort to collect and analyze beach profile data.

“It’s been done a number of times,” said Williams. “There is an August survey, in odd years, but because of reports of erosion a winter survey was approved.”

The survey could be used to determine where beach sand is needed the most to repair damage wrought by storms Isaac, Debby and Sandy in 2012.

Williams and Department of Natural Resources director James Evans reported to City Council in January on the ongoing monitoring of Sanibel beaches.