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Captiva Erosion Prevention District receives annual beach monitoring project results

By Staff | Aug 17, 2017

After nearly four years of annual monitoring surveys, the Captiva Erosion Prevention District unveiled the results of the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Beach Renourishment Project during a meeting in the Wakefield Room at ‘Tween Waters Inn Resort & Spa last Wednesday.

The project, which began in October 2013, measures the effectiveness of the renourishment project annually.

“The purpose of the survey is to look at all the profile lines on our project. To look at the volume of sand and remaining (sand), to look at the width of the beaches, the elevation of the beaches and to put our attention to hot spots,” said Captiva Erosion Prevention District Administrator Kathy Rooker.

The renourishment project is required by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Monitoring surveys are conducted annually for three years after the project is completed, then bi-annually until the next beach renourishment event or the expiration of the project design life. The survey was done by APTIM, formerly CB&I Coastal Planning. The next renourishment project isn’t set to take place until spring or summer 2019.

The survey which began in May, yielded phenomenal results: Out of the 860,900 cubic yards of sand that was placed on Captiva in 2013, 656,024 cubic yards still remain, which equates to 76 percent. Long term, the renourishment project has resulted in 147 feet of beach.

“The only way you can get these numbers is with these long projects,” said Tom Pierro, director of coastal restoration at APTIM. “I think we’re right where we need to be at year three.”

Although central and southern Captiva performed well, Sunset Beach still remains a hot spot for erosion. During the year two monitoring project, the island lost 50,000 cubic yards of sand, this year, 10,000 cubic yards were lost.

“It’s slowed down significantly compared to last year,” said Michelle Pfeiffer, senior project manager of APTIM.

On Bowman’s Beach on Sanibel, the pay volume consisted of 75,000 cubic yards. In 2013, the project put down a total of 104,500 cubic yards of sand on Sanibel.

In total, 2.68 million cubic yards of sand remain on the beach since the project was started in 1988.

“If you added up all the nourishment volume that you’ve placed on the island, 63 percent of all sand we’ve replaced is still there,” Pierro said. “That’s a tremendous number.”

Rooker said these results will help her plan for the next beach renourishment project in 2019.

“We’re already beginning to lay the foundation for next year because in 2018, we plan to begin our preliminary design of the next project. This data helps us look at what we’re doing right and what we need to improve upon,” she said.