Rapid erosion steals sand from Inn on the Beach

Editor & Publisher

The erosion in front of Inn on the Beach on the very south end of Longboat Key has accelerated to the point that no beach exists for guests whatsoever and an emergency plan is in place.

Town Manager Dave Bullock said he and staff have been watching the shoreline in front of the Key Club property for the past couple of months but recently a fast moving channel of water has swiped all of the remaining sand.

Bullock said the town’s engineer, Olsen and Associates, Al Browder, says that because of the large amount of sand that has silted and clogged up New Pass, a flood channel has formed that runs out of New Pass and around the southern end of the key at a rapid pace to relieve pressure in the channel.

The engineer said it is not as simple as just dumping sand in front of Inn on the Beach because it would quickly wash away by the fast moving channel emanating from New Pass. Instead, Browder has instructed the town to move forward as quickly as possible with its plan to dredge New Pass and place about 200,000 cubic yards of sand from the Privateer Condominium at Islandside south to the vicinity of L’Ambiance. That will relieve pressure on the newly formed channel and then the engineer says the town should truck in sand to fill the wash channel and create a beach in front of the hotel.

Longboat Key Club General Manager Jeff Mayers has notified the town of the affect not having a beach has on the experience of guests and visitors to the resort. Bullock said that the town is working as quickly as possible and the project is out to bid and bids are due to be received by the town on June 9. Bullock said sand will hit the beach most likely in the end of August or early September.

Bullock added, “There is no real usable beach at Inn on the Beach for pretty much their whole waterfront property. All of their dune walkovers are in the Gulf. When you come to a beach resort, we realize there is an expectation that there will be a beach,” said Bullock.

Bullock said the additional trucked sand will become part of the overall contract that will be awarded after the bids come in on June 9. He said it will manifest as a change order but that the town is very aware of what the cost for trucked sand should be since it is right now in the middle of a $11 million renourishment of the mid-key based solely on sand being trucked from a quarry in Immokalee.

As a more permanent fix for the hotel, Bullock said the town is talking to the engineer and looking at extending the jetty that juts into the Gulf at Sands Point on the very southern end of the key. That jetty has created a large beach in front of Sands Point, which quickly diminishes to no beach in front of the hotel. The longer jetty would theoretically retain and accrete more sand to that area.


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Longboat Key News

2 Responses for “Rapid erosion steals sand from Inn on the Beach”

  1. ghostrider says:

    “There are far better and far less costly ways to maintain our beaches.” –G.J.

    Actually Gene, there aren’t. Beach groins merely become archeological finds for future generations.

    The beaches on Longboat are done. You don’t pour dry sand over wet sand. Yearly replenishment and yearly assessments will become the cost of living here. Wait till the battle over who will fund seawalls begins.

    In the meantime someone is ever so quietly knocking down houses. It’s clever if your intent is to drive up existing values and taxes.

    The ocean has a thirty-year mortgage on Longboat with Zen dollars down.

  2. gene jaleski says:

    Spending $45+ per cubic yard of sand to protect a for profit hotel seems to me to be an inappropriate use of taxpayer money. Just like the town manager t old the Longbeach Condominium owners – go build a seawall at your own expense and have no beach. Why is the Key Club so special? The huge cost to property owners, $25 million, to put temporary sand band-aids along the island is the result of one commissioner easily convincing the other members that he knew best how to maintain our beaches, and that was to do nothing for six years. Sadly he was wrong and we are faced with a very costly stitch in time situation that will force the commission to ask voters for another $75 million within two years, on top of the $25 million band-aid they are doing now. There are far better and far less costly ways to maintain our beaches. Perhaps the time has come for the commission to look closely at alternatives to periodic dredging and hugely expensive trucking sand.

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