FORT MYERS – The Lee Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to approve a Board resolution supporting the Blind Pass Inlet Management Plan Feasibility Project Grant Application requesting $230,000 in state funding in Fiscal Year 2023-2024.
A resolution is required by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in order for Lee County to apply for grant funding for beach nourishment and inlet management projects. Lee County has been applying for and receiving state funding for beach nourishment and related projects on an annual basis since 1997.
Applications must be accompanied by a resolution and are competitively reviewed and ranked by Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The ranked list is submitted to the Legislature for consideration as part of the state budget process. Required county matching funds are expected to be available when needed from Tourist Development Tax funds, a percentage of which must go to beaches and shoreline projects annually.
Blind Pass is not managed for navigation but is dredged for benefits related to coastal and environmental purposes. It was most recently dredged in June 2017 when 89,700 cubic yards of sand was removed at a cost of $1.3 million. The sand was placed on Sanibel Island to offset beach erosion.
The City of Sanibel earlier this year closed Blind Pass Beach Park because of gradual erosion and public safety concerns. At this time, the city beach remains closed but the parking lot is open. Located just across Blind Pass Beach Park is Turner Beach, which is a Lee County Parks & Recreation beach park. It is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.