Posted on January 9, 2023
Lee County is working to make Bonita Beach level after Hurricane Ian tore through the coast.
For the last three months, crews have cleared sand of debris and made sandpiles on the north and south ends of the beach.
People living and working on Hickory Boulevard have watched crews for weeks… but think too much sand is being distributed to the north side.
“I know it’s new for the county and the city to handle something like this. I’ve been here since ‘83 and never had this problem and I know it’s a learning process… but we need to get our sand back and I don’t know how we’re going to do it,” said resident Dawn Koncikowski.
County officials said crews are using recovered and processed sand (the sand that was on the road after the storm) to replace sand and supplement berms along Bonita Beach where it is needed.
This includes areas from south to north at public locations along the beach, such as Bonita Beach Park and County Access Points 1 through 10.
Kevin Nobis owns Bonita Jetski and Parasail at Doc’s Beach Restaurant and said he’s worried about the beach’s southside.
He said if too much sand is taken away, the beach will be vulnerable to more loss in the next storm.
“Obviously [the north end] are more vulnerable and that’s probably why [officials are] moving some of the sand down there, but it’s like overkill at this point,” said Nobis.
Koncikowski said she worries she’ll have to foot the bill if the county doesn’t properly move in more sand.
“We need the sand back on the beach because that’s the first line of protection for not only the beach, not only the island, but inland also,” said Koncikowski.