Sanibel declares a state of emergency over erosion at Blind Pass

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne
Published: Updated:
Erosion prompts state of emergency in Sanibel Island. (Credit: City of Sanibel)
Erosion prompts state of emergency in Sanibel Island. (Credit: City of Sanibel)

Sanibel Island declared a state of emergency on Thursday morning to fortify the beach from erosion.

Sanibel is no stranger to severe weather. The wind and the waves eventually chip away its sandy and shell-covered beaches. James Evans, director of natural resources for the City of Sanibel, said it is an area they have been monitoring for a while.

“Because of the erosion that occurs there,” Evans said, “we’re in a situation where the erosion’s getting very close to Sanibel-Captiva Road.”

Now, Sanibel has declared a state of local emergency for a stretch of Sanibel Captiva Rd., just south of Blind Pass. In times of emergencies, including hurricanes, the roadway is vital.

Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane gave a couple of reasons for the decision.

“One: It’s a tourist issue,” he said. “Two: It’s a safety issue. And three: It affects Captiva.”

As a temporary measure, sandbags will go along the shoreline before permanent construction begins.

“So the permanent project entails,” Evans said, “building essentially a seawall and a rock revetment.”

Sand and dune vegetation will cover that. We are told the temporary fix with the sandbags will cost $38,450, while the permanent project will be roughly $1.4 million. The efforts are to provide protection for people and the environment alike.

“Hopefully, beginning construction sometime in March and completing that project by the end of April, early May,” Evans said. “In time to have the project completed before sea turtle nesting season.”

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.