Restoring beaches in Collier County after Hurricane Ian

Reporter: Annalise Iraola Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Hurricane Ian took a toll on Southwest Florida beaches, and while they are open, they aren’t as protected as they were before the storm.

Collier County has begun its emergency berm project to help restore the sand which is an important barrier when it comes to storm protection.

200 trucks will be hauling approximately 4,000 tons of sand. During the first part of the project, sand will be hauled to the Naples Pier and to Doctors Pass over the course of several days.

Sand dunes are the first line of defense against wave action and storm surges. That’s why the emergency berm project is taking place.

Workers stood on a large staging platform where trucks loaded full of sand will unload their haul.

Dr. Phillip Richards and Rose Stoltmann have been coming to Naples Beach for 15 years.

“The trucks don’t bother us too much. They really are fairly conscientious about their noise and upsetting the tourists,” beachgoer Dr. Richards said.

Monday they were at the beach on day one of the berm project with no complaints.

“There’s been a low low decibel fare. I really haven’t. We’re able to talk in normal tones and haven’t bothered. And they’re doing a nice job,” Dr. Richards said.

For other beachgoers like Jim Ampstadt, it’s easy to be understanding of the project.

“So I guess it’s not gonna be a big deal. But, I mean, there’s gonna be a lot of truck traffic. But yeah, it’s gotta be done. So, you know, a minor inconvenience for a short period of time,” Amstadt said.

The first phase began at the Naples Beach Club, and it’s expected to last through the month of April. The project will then move south. In all, it’s expected to be completed by Memorial Day Weekend.

As for some of the beach’s most fragile visitors, sea turtle nesting season begins next month, the city said extra precautions will be taken during that time to protect the nests.

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