Southwest Florida invests millions in beach nourishment projects post-Hurricane Ian

Reporter: Asha Patel Writer: Carolina Guzman
Published: Updated:
Beach renourishment project (WINK News)

Are the millions of dollars spent on sand worth all of the big dump trucks rumbling through small island roads, giant excavators sitting on the beach and giant piles of sand and dirt laying right next to beach chairs?

Since Hurricane Ian came to our shores, Southwest Florida has spent mountains of cash on mountains of sand.

The end goal is to make the beach more enjoyable for people because some folks said it needs a lot of work, but that is the point of the Beach Nourishment project.

Sanibel just wrapped up their project and officials there said every dollar is worth it.

The sand on many beaches across Southwest Florida took a big hit after Hurricane Ian and because of that, many beaches had to truck in new sand.

Sanibel was one of them. With winds over 130 miles per hour and a surge rising 12 feet, you can just imagine the impact Ian left on Sanibel and its beaches.

So, its Beach Nourishment project started at the beginning of the year and just wrapped up in April.

400,000 tons of sand costing $14 million.

“It’s a very important project. It’s not just Sanibel. Working on this, the county is also working on restoring beaches, [which] are a vital point of why we live here; major part of tourism and why people come down to Lee County,” said Eric Jackson with the City of Sanibel.

There are many beach nourishment projects across Lee County, like the Estero Island Shoreline Project.

The idea is to dredge approximately 1 million cubic yards of sand from off shore to make an engineer designed beach.

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