Beachgoers are advised that no work will occur on the Emergency Beach Berm Project this Saturday, May 27, through Monday, May 29, allowing full sun and sand enjoyment on both City of Naples and Collier County beaches over the Memorial Day Weekend. Crews will resume operations on Tuesday, May 30 at 7 a.m.
Thus far, more than 315,000 tons of sand have been placed on beaches in Reach A and Reach B. Reach A is the segment within the City of Naples limits being constructed by county contractor Phillips and Jordan, Inc. Reach B extends from the northern limits of Collier County at Barefoot Beach, and includes Vanderbilt Beach, Pelican Bay Beach and the beach along South Marco Island (see diagrams at the end). Crews expect to complete work on most of Reach A about the middle of next week. The work on Port Royal Beach needs to be suspended until remaining easements are acquired to access the beach. The county may try to complete that portion in November after sea turtle nesting season ends.
The county’s contractor for Reach B is Earth Tech Enterprises, Inc. Their crews expect to complete work on the sand berm in the Barefoot Beach area by the end of next week, then mobilize their equipment on South Marco Beach and start that portion of the Emergency Beach Berm Project on June 5. The South Marco Beach portion of the project should progress to completion in about two weeks from the start date.
The Emergency Beach Berm Project is needed to replace the dunes destroyed when Hurricane Ian struck on Sept. 28, 2022. The dunes are a first defense against wave action and storm surge for upland structures (residences and other buildings just beyond the beach). Since obtaining Board of County Commissioners approval for the project last December, Coastal Zone Management staff have worked to get the berm designed, sand sources approved, and strategized the best and quickest way to get the project completed. Two contractors were hired to construct the berm, dividing the project into two segments in order to complete work as quickly as possible.
Sand is being sourced from two Florida mines, Stewart Mine in Immokalee and Vulcan Mine in Moore Haven. Approximately 400,000 tons of sand is expected to be needed and dump trucks are assigned use of specific approved routes to haul the sand to the beaches.
City and county beaches continue to be open and usable but small areas are fenced off where dune construction is occurring. Safety is a top priority, so spotters keep an extra set of eyes on sand trucks as they travel along the beach to dune construction locations. County staff and crews are working diligently to ensure that beachgoers, crews, sea turtles and all creatures are safe and out of harm’s way during the project. During sea turtle nesting season (officially began on May 1) extra precautions have been taken to protect their nests.
Money for the approximately $20 million project has been allocated from Tourist Development Tax funds; it is anticipated that FEMA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will provide reimbursement for the expenditure.
Hours of operations are six days a week, Mondays through Saturdays, from approximately 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For additional information, please contact Coastal Zone Management Section Manager Andy Miller at (239) 252-2922. If you prefer to email any questions or comments, please send them to CZM@colliercountyfl.gov. News media inquiries may be directed to Community Liaison Connie Deane at 239-252-8365 or Connie.Deane@colliercountyfl.gov.
Emergency Beach Berm Project Maps
(Beach berm construction planned along beaches shown with highlighting.)