Sunday, May 9, 2021

Marco’s Beach Renourishment

‘The project that goes on forever’

Beach regrading project underway to provide an elevated beach berm with a seaward grade to reduce ponding.

The beach renourishment project is in progress for Marco’s Central Beach. It will continue from dusk to dawn, Monday through Saturday and will be completed before sea turtle season, which begins April 15th. Nighttime dredging activities may occur, but will be limited to an area along the water’s edge.

Approximately 150,000 – 175,000 cubic yards of sand will be dredged from the intertidal zone in front of the beach and graded up to the dunes to create a wider and positive slope. This will help eliminate the pooling and ponding during the rainy season. This would regrade about a mile of Central Beach from Sand Dollar Island to the north and up to JW Marriott to the south. The project will cost approximately $1.150 Million.

Work will be conducted in 1,500-foot sections along the beach to allow for public beach access at all times. An orange construction fence has been installed to enclose the work areas. Signs are placed along the beach directing the public access points during the construction.

At the January 22nd City Council Meeting, Gary McAlpin, Director of the Collier County Coastal Zone Management, provided City Council with details of the project, which Councilor Erik Brechnitz jokingly referred to as “the project that goes on forever.”

In the area just south of MICA there are six condominiums where the Erosion Control Line (ECL), which designates private property, is non-existent. McAlpin emphasized that Collier County will require the execution of a temporary construction easement only during the duration of the project to be able to regrade the beaches in front of these condos. The area in question will only require about 20,000 cubic yards of sand.

Questions From the Councilors:

Rios: Wanted clarification that the project will be finished before Sea Turtle Season. McAlpin replied in the affirmative.

Reed: He has heard that there is a tactile difference between the sand that comes from quarries and from sand that comes from the Gulf. McAlpin assured Councilor Reed that the sand for this project is coming from the Gulf and that two years ago, County used sand from an upland sand source for Cape Marco project. McAlpin also said that “sand is the most important thing Department of Environmental Protection pays attention to on our beaches and if they do not meet State’s specification, they won’t use that sand.”

Grifoni: “If you don’t receive the Condo’s permission, will it impact the integrity of the remaining renourishment in adjacent areas?” McAlpin replied, “Luckily about 150,000 – 175,000 cubic yards is going to be to the north of the six units and if they have to skip an area, they will skip it.”

Brechnitz: He noticed that there are parts of the beach that do not have an ECL. McAlpin replied that “There is an ECL between Sand Dollar Island all the way to the south end of MICA. There is a gap in the ECL and it goes past JW Marriott –as that part of the beach has never been renourished since 2005.

For additional questions, please contact Gary McAlpin, Collier County Coastal Zone Management at 239-252-5342 or


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