A shrinking beach is about to get bigger.
Work is set this month to replace the sand along Manasota Key’s shoreline.
For years, storms and erosion have taken their toll. Now, equipment is being shipped from Georgia and is expected to arrive in the next day or two for use in a beach renourishment project.
Those we spoke to welcome the project, including Peppy Vazquez, the manager of Pelican Shore Cottage. Back in 2008, the beach along the cottages was sturdy against the water.
“That was approximately about 25 feet of beach, of dry beach,” Vazquez said.
Twelve years later, the beach is not as formidable against the incoming tide.
“There is no sand, so it’s coming up and hitting the rocks,” Fritz Lay said.
And its detrimental to structures such as the cottages.
“We have nothing. We’ve had a lot of structures that are in jeopardy here on this key because of this erosion problem,” Vazquez said.
Vazquez blames an unnamed storm for wiping out the beach in 2009, and he told us his team spent tens of thousands of dollars to protect Pelican Shore’s seven waterfront cottages.
“It’s been very, very expensive and costly for us for the last few years,” Vazquez said.
But, in a matter of weeks, beachfront property owners will see improvements.
The contractor will take sand from three to seven miles offshore and pump it onto the beach along Manasota Key.
“It’s going to be a huge impact on us not only but throughout the entire Manasota Key,” Vazquez said.
Contractors plan to finish Charlotte County’s side of Manasota by mid-March and then work on Sarasota County’s portion. Both should be finished by sea turtle nesting season in May.
The project should help give nearby business new life once it’s completed.
“I’ve kind of dreamed about that to be honest with you, being able to walk out and have my own private beach,” Lay said.