Town requests easements to be signed by beachfront property owners for sand replacement
Fort Myers Beach on Estero Island is a seven-mile stretch of white sand on the Gulf of Mexico that took a direct hit during Hurricane Ian on September 28, 2022, along with the rest of the Town.
During the storm, large amounts of sand were displaced from the Beach and re-distributed over the entire Island. The sand that was displaced has been recovered and sifted (cleared of debris) so that it is safe to return to the beach. This will help repair the many scours and gouges that the storm created.
To accomplish this renourishment of the Beach, the Town needs beachfront property owners to sign an easement to place sand on the beach areas that are private property. The easement document along with construction plans and other information can be found here.
The first step in this process will be to build an emergency berm. It will be six and a half feet above sea level (0.3 NAVD88). The berm will be placed near a structure or seawall but can be configured in accordance with the Dune Management Plan to accommodate the property owner’s preferences.
Property owners need to understand that this WILL NOT be a six and a half foot dune in front of their property. Typically, walking up the beach to a property is already four to five feet above sea level, The berm will only add one to two feet depending on the lost elevation. See the cross section in the construction plans for the R monument near your property for details.
The Estero Island Nourishment Project is also still moving forward, scheduled to start in the Fall of 2023. This project will add approximately one million cubic yards of sand to the beach creating recreational space and protecting against storm surge impacts. This will be adding 200 feet of beach in some areas that lost their beach. In areas where the beach is wide, the project will be adding elevation.
A common question is why does the easement need to be for 15 years? It’s because the State of Florida’s permit lasts for 15 years and authorizes the Town to oversee beach management activities. These activities include reducing dune heights and maintaining a positive slope to allow the beach to drain and prevent pooling in the middle of the beach.
Town staff are working hard to rebuild the Town and the beach and are here to cooperate with beachfront property owners in the management of the Town’s most precious natural resource - the beach. Questions and concerns can be directed to Chadd Chustz, Environmental Projects Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org