Beach & Shoreline Program

TDC Beach & Shoreline Capital Improvement Program

Overview

Our beaches and ecology are the main draw of Lee County, and the beach and shoreline program serves as a great enhancement to these assets with funding provided by the tourist development tax. Utilizing 26.4% of the five-cent bed tax, this program has provided more than $75 million dollars to variety of countywide projects erosion control funds needed over the next 10 years. Each erosion control project undergoes a thorough cost-benefit analysis to determine funding opportunities. After assigning the state and federal cost sharing figures, the balance required for each project is divided by the storm protection and recreational benefits based on the availability of public access. The storm protection portion is deemed the responsibility of the homeowners and the recreational portion is funded with the beach renourishment trust fund. Regardless of who derives the recreational benefit - the property owners, local residents or visitors - this portion is funded exclusively with bed tax revenue.

Current Projects & How Projects Are Funded

Each year the TDC reviews project requests to award the beach and shoreline funds for the coming year. Local governmental agencies request funding by completing a
funding request that offers detailed information about the project. During an annual workshop TDC members review the requests and evaluate each project on several criteria to determine if they are eligible for funding. During the workshop the requesting agency is available to answer questions the TDC may have about the request for funds. Once the projects receive TDC approval, they are forwarded to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners for inclusion in their annual capital improvement budget (CIP) process.

The TDC’s recommendations for FY 2013-14 offers funding to 25 projects valued at more than 7 million. These projects include:

  • 2 million addition to the beach nourishment trust fund
  • Beach maintenance at Bonita Beach, Ft Myers Beach, Cape Coral Yacht Club, Captiva, and Sanibel Island
  • Shoreline improvements at Caloosahatchee Regional Park in Alva
  • Dune walkover Replacement on Sanibel
  • Shade structures at beach parks on Sanibel and Fort Myers Beach

In addition to the maintenance projects receiving funding during this cycle, several other projects that were funded in previous years are in various stages of development. A status report for all active projects is updated each quarter and presented to the TDC. Many of these projects are long term and will require additional funding in future years. A number of projects have been funded over multiple years including beach access development, beach water quality monitoring, Bonita Beach Park improvements, Bowditch Point Regional Park, Bowman's Beach master plan, Caloosahatchee Regional Park shoreline protection, emergency beach cleanup, Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve improvements, Jaycee Park erosion control, Matanzas Pass Preserve improvements, dune and landscape plantings at Sanibel beach parks and Sanibel Lighthouse park improvements, just to name a few.