Longboat Key, Florida | May 30th, 2017 – The Kepecz-Hays Team, as active partners to sellers and buyers of residences on Longboat Key, is quite pleased that our Town is now urgently pursuing solutions to erosion on Greer Island at the north end of the Key.
Like local residents, we share the concern on the possibility of a storm-induced breach which could open flow of seawater between Greer and the Key. This would not only make the popular Greer Island, walkable at low tide, inaccessible to pedestrians. It could also bring wave action to residences at northern tip of the island, posing potential damage to their structures.
Sadly, we already have seen this happen when some property owners along the coastline of Manasota Key in Englewood lost 20 feet of their beachfront as a result of Tropical Storm Colin last year. Charlotte County then had to declare a state of emergency in that area which saw at least one beachfront house condemned.
All Bases Covered
Happily for us though, our town officials are picking up lessons learned from such events and have lined up both short-term and long-term solutions to the beach erosion problem. We’re glad to note that town commissioners in March approved a budget transfer of almost $400,000 to the North End Shoreline Stabilization Project. The amount will be allocated to the development of an immediate, short-term solution as well as formulating a long-term plan to protect Longboat’s north end from erosion.
One short-term fix that has been proposed is dredging sand from Greer’s east side where a spit has been formed and is nearly linking with the mainland. The dredged sand would then be used to reinforce Greer Island’s west side, a project designed not only to fend off erosion. It would also to protect the surrounding mangroves and seagrass whose massive root systems, experts say, hold Greer Island together.
A long-term solution put on the table was the construction of a terminal groin on the gulfside of Greer Island. Engineers will present the details of this long-term solution that could result in decades of protection for Greer Island and the Longboat’s north end in August.
Canal Dredging Set
Work on these projects could start in the summer of 2018 as part of the planned island-wide canal project, which when completed would further strengthen property values around these waterways. Sixteen priority canals have been included in this project including Canal 1A which connects the lagoon at Greer Island to Sarasota Bay. Dredged materials from the lagoon would be placed on the Greer’s gulfside to protect it from erosion.
At this point in time, many details of the canal-dredging project are yet to be fine-tuned. But nonetheless, we at the Kepecz-Hayz Team are confident that our Town is well on its way of protecting Greer Island and the coastline at Longboat’s north end.
We know that our officials recognize too that Greer Island is one community asset that just can’t be neglected. After all, this secluded tiny peninsula also known as Beer Can Island offers both residents and visitors a serene white beach excellent for shelling and other recreational activities. Keeping it preserved for generations to come would certainly be for everybody’s interest.