It's on us. Share your news here.

Lee County approves pact with Fort Myers Beach to restore, nourish Estero Island beach

A beach sand replenishment program in February on Estero Island was carried out to repair sand issues that arose when Hurricane Ian hit Fort Myers Beach in 2022. The Lee County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday approved an agreement for the restoration and nourishment of another section of the Estero Island beach.

Posted on May 8, 2024

Lee County’s Board of County Commissioners approved an agreement Tuesday for the restoration and nourishment of more than 5 miles of Estero Island beach.

The county’s portion of the interlocal agreement with the Town of Fort Myers Beach is based on a percentage not to exceed $9.2 million, funded through tourist development tax.

The project goal is to address chronic and acute erosion, provide storm protection, environmental benefits such as improved sea turtle nesting, and recreational opportunities.

Commissioner Brian Hamman asked Steve Boutelle, manager of Public Works Operations for Lee County Natural Resources, to explain the project in detail.

“They’ll have a defined work area, which is generally between 500 and 1000 feet, only that portion of the beach will be closed at any one time. And that’s for safety considerations,” he said.

Boutelle said that as the work zone moves down the island the pipeline used for the project will have sand ramps over it every couple 100 feet so that people can easily get over it.

“Overall the timeline I think they’re anticipating something around June to November for this summer’s operation,” he said. “It is a very large project so it’ll take some time to complete but again, only a small portion impacted at any one time.”

The project area is designated by the state as critically eroded shoreline. Lee County previously nourished a northern section of the beach, from Bowditch Point to Crescent Beach Family Park, in 2011.

The current project has an expanded scope and is managed by Fort Myers Beach, which has divided the work into two segments. The North-Central project segment will extend from Bowditch Point to near Lanark Avenue. The South segment will extend from near Creciente Condominium to Sun Caper Condominium.

This will supplement the sand trucking project funded by FEMA and Florida Division of Emergency Management.

The Town has obtained funding from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for 100% for the South Segment and 41.7% of the North-Central Segment.

The county’s contribution from the tax on short-term lodging is to offer storm protection for county beach parks and recreational benefits for shorelines accessible to the general public according to Florida DEP standards.

The work is expected to begin in June and be completed by the end of October.


It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe