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Sand placement signals beach renourishment’s start

By TIFFANY REPECKI / trepecki@breezenewspapers.com - | Sep 4, 2021

CEPD This week, the dredging and fill for the beach renourishment project kicked off.

The island’s beach renourishment project kicked off this week with the placement of the first sand.

The Captiva Erosion Prevention District reported that the beach fill operation was set to commence on Sept. 1, then followed up the next day with a report that the first dredged sand had hit the shoreline.

“Over the past few weeks, they’ve been staging the equipment on the beach side,” CEPD Technical Director Daniel Munt said, explaining that two dredges will be used simultaneously for the job.

Contractor Great Lakes Dredge and Dock will place approximately 750,000 cubic yards of beach fill along 4.85 miles of shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline between Redfish Pass and Blind Pass, and the project will include dune rehabilitation. The work is anticipated to be finished within 50 days.

Designed to last about eight to 10 years, the renourishment will provide the necessary maintenance to counteract long-term critical erosion of the beaches, properties and shorelines, the CEPD reported.

CEPD Estimated current plan for the dredging and beach fill for the project.

On Aug. 30, an updated map of the project plan, with color-coded dates representing a projection of the expected progress, was released. The CEPD noted that the dates are estimates and will vary slightly.

All active work will be performed within about a 1,000-foot zone that will be blocked off with temporary safety fence and continually shift along with the rate of beach fill progress.

Munt reported that the south section is estimated to be completed in three weeks or so.

As of last week, the parking lot for Turner Beach, at 17200 Captiva Drive, was fully closed to the public, while the lot for the Alison Hagerup Beach Park, at 14790 Captiva Drive, remained fully open. The two lots will be fully open or closed or partially closed, depending on where the project is at.

PROJECT BENEFITS, COST SHARE

CEPD This week, the dredging and fill for the beach renourishment project kicked off.

While analyzing the benefits disparity during a recent review of the economist’s report, CEPD staff and Chairman Rene Miville discovered that the analysis was done in July 2018, during the worst red tide that Captiva has ever experienced. According to the CEPD, the red tide caused many lodging and event cancellations, resulting in island businesses losing millions in tourism revenue from potential visitors.

Consequently, the CEPD worked to compile more realistic data that the economist incorporated in an effort to increase the recreational benefits percentage.

Also, in reviewing the 2014 apportionment documents in comparison to those for the current project, Munt discovered there was an error in the calculation. After discussing it with CEPD consultant Dr. William Stronge and looking through the specific calculations, it was determined that the new benefit model did not previously account for a present value analysis, whereas the previous model did. After adjusting the new model to account for the present value, the recreational benefit percentage increased.

On Aug. 31, Munt explained that the recreational benefit has increased from 59.9 percent to 70.6 percent, which dropped the storm protection benefit from 40.1 percent to 29.4 percent. As a result, Lee County’s cost share rose from 24.35 precent to 30.28 percent, about $3.46 million to $4.3 million.

He added that the adjustment has been presented to the county, but not yet signed off on.

In addition, the county recently contributed an additional $1 million to the project.

“So Lee County’s contribution is now roughly $5.3 million,” Munt said.

He continued that based on calculating for a 750,000-cubic-yard project, the total cost will be a little over $18 million. Once the county’s cost share is deducted, along with the Florida Department of Environmental Protect’s contribution, that leaves about $8.9 million to be paid for with assessments.

“And that’s before any reserves, or grant opportunities out there that could lower it,” Munt said, referring to the remaining balance that would be assessed to property owners on the island.

The project plans, design specifications, cost estimates and tentative cost apportionments are on file and available for public review at the CEPD’s office, at 11513 Andy Rosse Lane, Unit 4, Captiva.

For more information or questions, call 239-472-2472.