Captiva Beach Nourishment Program
61 Years of Success
The residents and businesses on Captiva have successfully managed Captiva's beach for 60 years, improving and reinforcing our beach with each project. The success of the program is evident by the lack of any significant structural damage due to ever-changing tide and wave forces during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, including a hit by Hurricane Charley.
Captiva Erosion Prevention District (CEPD) has developed a comprehensive plan which protects and strengthens the island’s shoreline. The program receives support from various federal, state, county, and local agencies with all efforts spearheaded under the direction of the CEPD stewardship.
On March 5, 2019, Captiva voters approved a bond not to exceed $18 million and that which would be assessed at actual cost once the work is completed. The island wide beach nourishment project has an estimated cost of $18.25 million, with funding to be allocated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Lee County, Lee County Tourism Development Council, and Captiva property owners.
The CEPD is working with Great Lakes Dredge and Dock on the beach nourishment project, which is scheduled to begin August 18th, 2021. The project is anticipated to be completed within approximately 50 days.
The project area is located between Florida DEP reference monuments R-84 and R-109 (Captiva Island). The project consists of the placement of approximately 750,000 cubic yards of beach fill along 4.85 miles of shoreline and rehabilitation of existing dunes along the entire Gulf of Mexico shoreline of Captiva Island between Redfish Pass and Blind. The project, designed to last approximately 8-10 years, provides necessary maintenance to counteract long-term critical erosion of our beaches, properties, and shorelines.
Public access to the project area will remain open with the exception of necessary restrictions being enforced in the immediate vicinity of construction activities. The project has a 15-year Joint Coastal Permit (JCP) permit from FDEP, which is valid until December 11, 2029. Likewise, the Department of Army (DA) Permit issued by the USACE in 2015 is valid until December 9, 2030.
Captiva Island ended 2013 as a wider beach beckoning residents and visitors alike to come to visit and enjoy our beautiful island in 2014. The beach renourishment project extended the beachfront significantly further seaward with beach fill placement of 783,369 cubic yards along Captiva's shoreline from Redfish Pass to Blind Pass. As part of the project, existing dunes were rehabilitated and native dune vegetation consisting of 318,750 plants installed along the Captiva shoreline. The restored beach acts as a buffer from storms for island property and other structures while enhancing wildlife habitat and the recreational value of the shoreline. Additionally, 80,823 cubic yards of sand were pumped onto northern Sanibel as part of an interlocal agreement. Coastal Planning & Engineering provided all engineering services for the Project Sponsor, the Captiva Erosion Prevention District (CEPD).
The CEPD awarded Great Lakes Dredge and Dock the $19.4 million construction contract in August following a competitive bid process. The project commenced on Captiva Oct. 7, 2013, following the hatching of the last turtle nest. While the Captiva segment of the project was estimated to be completed on Nov. 26, the final load of sand was placed on the island at 8 AM on December 16 following delays related to technical problems with the booster pump Jesse. Once work on Captiva was complete, the pipeline was then moved to northern Sanibel and fill placement on that island was completed at 3:30 PM, December 26. The contractor used two hopper dredges, (the Padre Island and the Dodge Island) to vacuum sand from a borrowed area located approximately eight (8) miles offshore the Gulf of Mexico. This sand source quality is outstanding as it is highly compatible with the existing sand that lies along the shoreline. After being pumped, the sand was then transported to the booster pump, Jesse. The submerged pipeline length from the booster pump to the discharge area was two miles. The CEPD applied and received a permit modification extending the area of the pipeline corridors so that the contractors would have more flexibility.
Project funding was provided by the State of Florida, Department of Environmental Protection, Lee County Board of County Commissioners, and Captiva Island property owners. Prior to the project, Captiva voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum to borrow funds for the beach nourishment project.
In September 2005, a project to renourish Captiva Island and northern Sanibel began under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' supervision. This project included compensation for 2004 hurricane losses. A series of storms impacted the project area prior to and during the construction. Captiva Island received 1,116,387 cubic yards along the 4.9 miles of shoreline between Redfish Pass (R 84) and Blind Pass (R 109). Similarly, northern Sanibel Island received 244,630 cubic yards (R 110.5 to R 116) and Bowman’s Beach received 90,914 cubic yards.
On February 2, 1996, the initial renourishment of the 1988 project began. Fill was placed between monument R 84 (Redfish Pass Groin) and monument R 109 (Blind Pass Terminal Groin). The total Captiva project volume was approximately 821,000 cubic yards of fill. An additional 239,000 cubic yards of sand were also placed on northern Sanibel as part of an inter-local agreement.
The first island-wide nourishment project began August 17, 1988, and was completed on April 22, 1989. The beaches of Captiva were restored with sand obtained from the Redfish Pass ebb shoal borrow area. The nourishment project placed approximately 1,596,000 cubic yards of fill along 4.7 miles of beach between monument R 85 and monument R 109. This project was a federally reimbursable Section 215 Project. The berm width varied from 20 feet at the north end of the island where fill from the 1981 project still remained, to 100 feet at the south end of the island. As part of this project, dunes were constructed from monument R 96.5 to R 108.
Also known as the South Seas Plantation Project, 655,000 cubic yards of sand was placed in a project area that extended from FDEP monument R 87 to monument R 93.4. The work was completed in October 1981.
The first Captiva Island project was developed in 1961 and consisted of placing 107,000 cubic yards of sand in conjunction with the construction of 134 groins. Most of the groins constructed then have either since been removed, buried or destroyed.