LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Anyone returning to some of the local southern beaches, like Bonita Beach or Lover’s Key State Park, will find vast improvements to their shorelines.
It’s all part of a 10 year cycle of beach renourishment projects in the county.
Dennis Brand and his family from Hamburg, Germany have vacationed in Southwest Florida dozens of times. They didn’t mind all workers and equipment pumping in more sand to the beach at Lover’s Key State Park, where they like to go shelling.
“It’s a great place for the kids, a lot of wildlife. It’s looks good, it’s a great place,” said Brand.
Starting along a mile stretch of Bonita Beach, and another mile or so at Lover’s Key State Park, $4.7 million has been spent on beach renourishment in just the last 6 months of this year.
Lee County and the City of Bonita Springs shared the cost of $1.6 million to widen Bonita Beach by 70 to 140 feet, with more than half that money coming from the tax Lee County Collects from tourists.
The state is footing the majority of the cost to bring more sand to Lover’s Key, with the county kicking in $375,000. In all, the project should 50 to 230 more feet.
Attracting more beach goers by maintaining the beauty of our beaches is just one reason for beach renourishment.
“The major reason we do beach renourishment is to protect the shoreline and protect what’s behind the beach. The bigger the beach is, the more storm protection it can afford,” said Justin McBride, Lee County Natural Resources.
All the beaches in Lee County are constantly being monitored. Resource managers expect this beach to last 10 years.
In Collier County, the beach renourishment project wrapped up less than a month ago.