PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — North Redington Beach’s mayor is worried Pinellas County may suffer the same fate as Daytona Beach in the next major storm.
“We are already at a stage now that the first storm that comes in here, we’re not going to have a beach,” Mayor Bill Queen said.
Pinellas County beaches have been renourished every five to seven years through a federal project administered by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Queen says the next renourishment project may not happen because the Army Corps of Engineers is requiring 100 percent of the property owners to sign a permanent easement allowing public access to the beach before the project can begin.
“I got 100 percent in my town. Belleair Beach got 100 percent in their town but that’s a micro section of what needs to happen for this project,” Queen said.
Cheryl Hapke is a Research Professor with USF and is a coastal geology expert.
Hapke says without renourishment, Pinellas County Beaches will eventually erode like the ones in Daytona Beach after hurricanes Ian and Nicole.
“The Atlantic coast probably gets hit a little bit harder because they do have larger waves than we tend to have but that storm surge can still do a lot of damage,” said Hapke.
Bill Queen says Pinellas County needs to find another source of funding for the beach project or risk the loss of property and tourism.