Tips for Combating Shoreline Erosion at a Waterfront Home
Owning a waterfront property on Sanibel or Captiva Island is more than just a dream come true, there are many maintenance requirements that come with it. The terrain is ever-changing with the always-moving waters. And then there is the occasional large storm like Hurricane Ian that also takes a toll on things.
The Erosion Effects of Hurricane Ian on Sanibel Island
The City of Sanibel Florida is great at making sure they are on top of the care of the coastline around the island. Their first strategy is to let nature take its course with erosion, and this was their strategy in dealing with Hurricane Ian.
Unlike other coastal islands, the City of Sanibel continuously monitors conditions once a year and has not needed to undergo major beach restoration in the past. To be proactive in assessing any erosion damage from the storm the city had Humiston and Moore Engineers complete a land survey a few days before the storm to get the most accurate picture of what damage occurred from the storm. This gave them the most accurate insight into how the coastline changed after the storm.
Most of the erosion damage was found on the Gulf side of the island. Much of it happened at Lighthouse Point. With time some native vegetation will need to be planted to help stabilize the dunes It was found that much of the eroded sand around the area was overwashed onto land covering Gulf-front properties and roadways. With time it is believed waves and currents will put it back in place.
How waterfront Home Owners Can Deal with Erosion at Their Homes
Shoreline erosion not just from storms but in the normal ebb and flow of the waters is a concern for waterfront homeowners. Especially on bodies of water that move frequently such as the ocean. There are some things waterfront homeowners can do to help combat the effects of erosion.
Before Employing any of the Tactics Below it is Best to Check with the City of Sanibel
Water Runoff Diversion
Employing strategic water runoff measures can help alleviate some of the impacts of erosion, especially if you live on any form of a bluff. If diverting water runoff completely is not possible look for ways to reroute runoff so it will make a lesser impact.
Bulkheads Sewalls and Rock
Installing a seawall may be a larger project than just one homeowner should take. It might be a good solution for an entire waterfront community. This tactic is only used when there is a concern with rapid erosion not caused by storms. It directs energy from the force of waves to other areas. This however is only a temporary fix. It is not often the best plan of action against erosion.
Native shoreline vegetation is perhaps some of the best and least invasive strategies for dealing with erosion. It serves as a natural barrier against the forces causing erosion. Beach rocks are also helpful. Removing vegetation and rocks to make a shoreline more pleasant to use can expedite the erosion process at your waterfront property. It is always a better strategy to add vegetation rather than take it away. Great erosion-controlling vegetation includes grasses, shrubs, flowers, trees, as well as aquatic vegetation.
For more information on help dealing with waterfront erosion issues at your waterfront property on Sanibel Island do not hesitate to reach out to the City of Sanibel.
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