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Longboat Key Wednesday, May. 26, 2010 7 years ago

Condominiums see sand loss due to Islander groins

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Although two permeable, adjustable-type groins are beginning to hold sand behind The Islander Club, its neighbors to the south claim the new structures are quickly taking away their beaches.

Paul Bowman, president of En Provence Condominium Association, sent a two-sentence letter to the town of Longboat Key dated Thursday, May 20, stressing the need for assistance.

Wrote Bowman: “The installation of the two new groins at The Islander Club has resulted in 50% of our beach being lost. Please advise what action you plan to take in order to correct the situation.”

Mary Ann Bozzi, vice president of En Provence, located at 2131 Gulf of Mexico Drive, said the 21 unit owners in her condominium association are alarmed by their lack of beach, which she says drastically disappeared after the second groin was completed in late April.

The approximately $1 million Islander groin project was approved two years ago to hold a fast-eroding beach.

“There are areas where we have no beach at all,” Bozzi said. “It’s shocking, and we need some help.”

Villa Di Lancia, The Islander Club’s closest neighbor to the south, has also reported sand loss since the groins were built.

Town Manager Bruce St. Denis and Public Works Director Juan Florensa told The Longboat Observer they would work with En Provence and other condominiums to address their concerns.

But neither official is concerned with the sand loss in the area.

“We knew there would be an adjustment of sand in the area to the south when the groins were built,” St.
Denis said. “Areas like En Provence are now not getting the sand that always swept past The Islander Club.”

St. Denis is hopeful the entire area is going to balance out within a year’s time.

“Once sand fills in completely behind The Islander Club as it’s supposed to, the beach to the south will begin to fill in again and balance out,” said St. Denis, who explains that properties such as En Provence used to get an additional 45,000 cubic yards of sand per year than normal at The Islander Club’s expense.

And if the properties to the south do not see their beach begin to bounce back, St. Denis said the town could adjust the groins.

“But we are confident the beach to the south of The Islander Club will equilibrate over the course of a year and will start getting better soon,” St. Denis said.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].

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