The shoreline restoration and channel dredging project at the Apollo Beach Nature Preserve is underway.
The $1.525 million project is a cooperative partnership between the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department and the Apollo Beach Waterway Improvement Group, Inc., a Florida non-profit organization. The project will relieve channel silting and mitigate beach erosion.
The Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department closed the Apollo Beach Nature Preserve on November 10th to protect public safety during the construction phase of the project. The County is installing eight breakwaters parallel to the western shoreline and a T-groin near the North Channel.
These structures will reduce wave energy to minimize erosion from the beach and reduce the sediment settling into the North Channel. The project also includes dune restoration, a living shoreline, and a newly designed beach area.
The Apollo Beach Waterway Improvement Group’s part of the project reclaims sand for the beach by dredging the three channels connecting Apollo Beach to Tampa Bay. At the park, ABWIG will build a dewatering containment area, return the sand to the beach, replant native vegetation and rebuild the concrete walk and motorway.
After dredging, ABWIG will install navigational markers and lights along the channels and jetty. ABWIG estimates the cost for post-dredging restoration of the park and installation of navigational aids to be $35,000.
ABWIG has raised funds for the dredging phase of the project through donations from area businesses, including The Mosaic Company and Tampa Electric Company, homeowners’ associations, boating clubs, and families. ABWIG credits County Commissioner Sandra Murman with coordinating various government agencies and facilitating working relationships to complete this public service project.