Beach erosion threatening homes in Sarasota County

Sarasota County

Beachfront property is at risk of washing away. 

In some areas of Englewood erosion is so bad, some homes are at risk of crumbling into the Gulf.

Twenty-five years ago, the beach on Manasota Key extended out for more than 80 feet.

Now, it’s literally carving into the backyards of some homes, exposing foundations and leaving houses on the brink of collapse.

Frank Stoker can only sit back and watch his beachfront property slowly disappear.

“Its sickening. It makes me feel very nauseous,” said Stoker. “Sarasota [County] isn’t doing anything to save us, to help us.”

Over the past few years, the erosion has gotten worse and worse and no firm plan has been set at this time to fix it.

“There’s a lot of houses here. There’s a lot of people that really need the help,” said Stoker.

Sarasota County commissioners recently met with commissioners from Charlotte County to address the situation. They will pursue a plan to renourish the beach with course sand.

It will likely cost millions but officials are still working on the plans with engineers. No timetable has been set yet for re-nourishment.

But the problem doesn’t end here. 

“The situation is dire on parts of Lido Beach,” said city manager Tom Barwin.

A state of emergency has been declared for Lido Beach. 

“We’re seeing our first evidence of property damage and some serious threats to our public infrastructure,” explained Barwin.

Beachfront condos are in danger if a large storm rolls through. The city is planning a large nourishment project in the fall.

In the meantime, they’re hoping the state can give the city permission to use massive sandbags to protect the shoreline.

“[We’re] definitely working against the clock and hoping that this hurricane season in Sarasota keeps its good luck charm and doesn’t have anything tremendous here,” said Lido Beach resident Jay Elsasser.

Stoker wants to make sure he and his neighbors in the southern end of the county are not forgotten.

“You have to put some type of plan for beach re-nourishment because today it’s us, tomorrow it’s the house next to us,” said Stoker.

Everyone is hoping this turns out to be a quiet hurricane season, because their homes are at stake. 

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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