Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Hideaway Beach Erosion Project in Progress

Marco Island City Council Resolution 19-06 was passed on January 22, 2019 and awarded Cavache, Inc. the construction of Hideaway Beach’s 2019 Erosion Control Project.

This project consists of dredging approximately 46,000 cubic yard of beach compatible sand from the Hideaway Nearshore Borrow Area to renourish Hideaway’s beach including raising the elevation of the berm 0.5 ft to account for sea level rise. The sand will be transported and placed on Hideaway Beach by hydraulic or mechanical methods for a total cost of $655,761.67. This erosion control project has an anticipated completion date at the end of April or early May.

According to Michael Poff, President of Coastal Engineering Consultants, Inc. the “project is permitted by Department of Environmental Protection and US Army Corps of Engineers. The purpose is two-fold. First, the channel is dredged to maintain flushing into the lagoon. Second, the sand is placed on Hideaway Beach for storm damage reduction benefits.”

Photos by Coastal Engineering Consulting, Inc. | 2006 Aerial Map of Hideaway Beach showing Sand Dollar Island and Collier Creek Entrance Channel. 2018 Aerial Map of Hideaway Beach, showing the strip of dry sandy tip of Sand Dollar Island narrowing the entrance to the lagoon.

Concerns were raised by Mark Geis, a resident who stated that “removing sand along the Sand Dollar area of the beach will open the area up to increased exposure during storms and this pristine area was being destroyed to place sand on a private beach.”

Poff explained that, “a portion of the Nearshore Borrow Area includes a strip of dry sandy beach off the tip of Sand Dollar Island. The City and Hideaway have successfully dredged the borrow area including through the strip of Sand Dollar Island three times and this is the fourth. First in 2010 then 2013 and again in 2016.”

Poff further replied that, “They have monitored the project since 2013 and surveys demonstrate the dredging has not had an adverse impact on Sand Dollar Island.”

Hideaway’s last project in 2016 consisted of 40,000 cubic yards of sand being dredged from the Hideaway Beach Nearshore Borrow Area to improve the navigation along the south bank of Big Marco Pass. This last project also restored tidal flow to the lagoon extending to the Tigertail Beach area. Ten thousand cubic yards of sand were placed on each end of Hideaway Beach.

Photos by Maria Lamb | Dredger scooping sand from nearshore to renourish the beach. This will also reduce the beach width by 230 feet at the north end which will reduce “walking time” for beach goers from the Tigertail parking areas.

Update on Marco’s Central Beach Re-grade

Marco Island is in the process of dredging sand from nearshore to replace and renourish its beaches. Though the Central Beach is between 500 to 1,200 feet wide, it has little to no surface slope to the Gulf. Areas of this wide beach tends to create ponding during heavy rains creating excessive algae growth and with its hard surface, is not suitable for sea turtle nesting.

The current re-grading project will also reduce the beach width by approximately 230 feet at the north end to about 50 feet at the south end of the project.

This decreased beach width will provide beach goers reduced walking distance from Tigertail Beach parking areas.


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