PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Indian Rocks Beach leaders are pleading with the federal government for help with beach renourishment for an 8.5-mile stretch of the coastline.

At high tide, the water is crashing at the seawall at Belleair Shore Beach.

“My concern is what about the next storm and the next one, there’s not much more leeway left at this point,” said Erika Dietz, an Indian Rocks Beach resident.

While it wasn’t a direct hit, Hurricane Idalia battered the Pinellas County coastline.

“We didn’t have much of a beach to start with,” said Pete Redero, a Belleair Shore resident.

The concern now is on the future.

“Since we don’t get renourishment, our beaches are just, they’re going to be gone soon and now it’s really, really bad,” said Redero.

There is a loss of sand and dune damage, and now there are 4-to-6-foot drop-offs caused by all of the flooding along the coastline.

“We are gravely concerned with the damage that occurred from Hurricane Idalia,” said Mayor Cookie Kennedy of Indian Rocks Beach. “We ask Army Corps to reverse their decision made concerning the coastal communities in Pinellas County and nourish our beaches.”

Mayor Kennedy said 14 of 28 beach access points are closed.

“For infrastructure, for our tourism, economy, there’s a lot of it that’s tied into this we really need this,” said Redero.

Pinellas County beaches have been renourished about every six years through the Army Corps of Engineers. The last project was in 2018, costing $42 million.

Now, the federal government won’t nourish the beaches without easements. It’s required for 100% of the property owners to sign a permanent easement allowing public access to the beach before beach renourishment can continue.            

“We will likely never have 100% of people agreeing so instead of having a mixed message or some people are blaming the beachfront owners and it’s because of them we need to get on the same page and all advocate and put pressure on the government to protect our beaches,” said Dietz.