Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Much of Honeymoon Island's recent sand replenishment has been eroded

Now: The beach on Honeymoon Island that was replenished near the northernmost bath house has lost most of the added sand to storm erosion.


Now: The beach on Honeymoon Island that was replenished near the northernmost bath house has lost most of the added sand to storm erosion.


Much of the sand brought to Honeymoon Island in a project completed just eight months ago to shore up the eroding beach has washed away.

But officials say the $2-million effort, funded by the state, was still in the area's best financial and safety interest.

The 137,000 cubic yards of sand dredged and pumped from Hurricane Path, an inlet to the south of Honeymoon Island, has gradually shifted southward, creating a small lagoon for wading and revealing the rocks on the northern portion of the island's beach.

In the northern area of the beach, there was once 5 to 6 feet of sand. Now there's mostly rocks.

"I'm surprised that it moved so quickly," said Peter Krudler, Honeymoon Island's park manager. "I thought we'd get another year or two out of it."

In addition to pumping in sand, the project included building a granite rock structure along the shore. Krudler said it has been helpful in retaining some of the sand.

Rows and rows of sea oat grass was planted along the shore and those are doing fine.

A team of surveyors will inspect the beach to get an accurate account of how much of the sand was lost.

Krudler said the impact on gulf currents from Tropical Storm Fay and Hurricane Gustav has hurt.

"The two storms didn't help out," he said. "The beach has gotten beaten up pretty much over the spring and summer time."

The state already was in the planning stages for another restoration project that could include putting up additional walls to slow erosion, Krudler said. That project could begin as early as 2010.

Nicole Elko, a coastal coordinator for Pinellas County, said beach nourishment is a maintenance project and that every two to five years it is planned to replenish the beaches with sand. She said hurricanes are the main reason the beaches are renourished.

"When the storm surge comes, you want a wide beach and sand bar," Elko said. "That way, the beach and sand bar will dissipate the energy and you will not have waves breaking in on your infrastructure.

"When a hurricane is heading your way, you want as much sand as possible between you and the ocean."

Krudler said the restoration efforts are needed because of the economic impact to the area. He said Honeymoon Island receives a million visitors a year and brings $50-million a year to the local economy.

"The economic benefit to the local economy far exceeds what we have spent," Krudler said.

The good news in all this? The sand loss has not affected the shorebirds or sea turtles. The area with sand movement has too much foot traffic and the birds would not nest in those areas anyway, Krudler said.

There were two sea turtle nests in the southern portion of the beach this year, he said. The egg in one has hatched; the other nest fell victim to storms and was overwashed.

Demorris A. Lee can be reached at 445-4174 or [email protected]

Much of Honeymoon Island's recent sand replenishment has been eroded 09/08/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 4:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. One of the best places for investing in a rental house is in Tampa Bay

    Real Estate

    Two Tampa Bay ZIP Codes are drawing national attention.

    . If you're looking to invest in a house to rent out, few places are better than  ZIP Code 34607 in Hernando County's Spring Hill area, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
 file photo]

  2. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'


    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  3. Suspect in Maryland office park shooting is apprehended


    EDGEWOOD, Md. — A man with a lengthy criminal past who was fired from a job earlier this year for punching a colleague showed up for work at a countertop company on Wednesday and shot five of his co-workers has been arrested, authorities said. Three of them were killed and two critically wounded.

    Harford County, Md., Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler shows a picture of Radee Labeeb Prince, the suspect in the workplace shootings.
  4. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  5. The two Ricks tangle at what may be final debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — In what was likely the last mayoral forum before the Nov. 7 election, Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker started out small, discussing neighborhood issues like recycling and neighborhood funding. They ended tangling over familiar subjects: the future of the Tampa Bay Rays, sewage …

    Ex-Mayor Rick Baker, left, and Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, debated familiar topics. The Times’ Adam Smith moderated.