Bonita Beach nourishment project on the way

Earlier this month, Lee County (FL) approved an amendment to an agreement with the City of Bonita Springs to expand the scope of Bonita Beach nourishment efforts south to the County line.

Photo courtesy of USACE

The expanded scope is necessary due to damage caused by Hurricane Ian in September 2022 when all of Bonita Beach including the historically stable shorelines to the south of the designed nourishment project was damaged by the storm.

The City of Bonita Springs requested and was granted over $4 million in State funding for a one-time repair of beaches from the nourishment project limits south to the county line to cover all the costs associated with this extension.

The work will restore the storm protection, environmental benefits such as sea turtle nesting, and recreational opportunities along the South Bonita Beach area, including county parks and beach accesses.

In a related vote, the Lee Board of County Commissioners approved a negotiated, noncompetitive lease with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management of the Department of the Interior to use outer-continental shelf sand resources for beach nourishment.

The lease qualifies for a fee waiver and provides up to 3 million cubic yards of beach quality sand to use for nourishment of critically eroded shorelines and repair of Hurricane Ian damages on Lovers Key, Bonita Beach and South Bonita Beach.