Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Port approves plan to reverse Apollo Beach Nature Park shore erosion

APOLLO BEACH — The shoreline of Apollo Beach Nature Park has been slipping away for years, but a recent decision by the Tampa Port Authority put East Hillsborough residents one step closer to reclaiming the once popular swimming spot.

At its July 15 monthly business meeting, the board approved a plan to build seven offshore breakwaters and one T-groin rock revetment along the northeast shore of the park.

The breakwaters are designed to absorb energy from incoming waves before they hit the beach, pulling sediment back into the bay, said Ross Dickerson, environmental lands manager for the Hillsborough parks department.

The breakwaters are the first in a two-part plan to reclaim some of the four acres of Apollo Beach Nature Park that have washed away over the past few years.

Once the structures are in place, the privately funded Apollo Beach Waterways Improvement Group plans to rebuild the beach using sand dredged from three clogged inlets in the South Shore area.

"We've been trying to reduce erosion for five years," Dickerson said. "Then two years ago we were approached by a group who would be dredging channels, and they were going to be having a lot of silt."

Improvement group president Len Berkstresser said he and his fellow group members were "jumping for joy" with the news that their plan was moving forward.

"This is a public-private consortium to make this a reality, the re-sculpting of the beach and a long-term solution to erosion, so we're very, very happy," he said.

Dickerson said building the breakwaters will cost the county $770,000 and shut down the park for approximately two months. The project can proceed once the Army Corps of Engineers gives its approval, which Dickerson expects in mid August.

The group's plan to dredge local channels and rebuild the beach will take another three months. Berkstresser said the group is not yet sure how much its section of the project will cost but noted that the group is currently funded entirely by private and industrial donations.

"Hopefully (the project) will bring tourism back to the park, since there will be a beach there," Dickerson said. "Apollo Beach is still free to the public, while if you want to go to E.G. Simmons Park, you have to pay to go in."

Contact Victoria Jacobsen at or (813) 661-2442. Follow @TwitrlessVicky.

Port approves plan to reverse Apollo Beach Nature Park shore erosion 07/24/14 [Last modified: Thursday, July 24, 2014 8:56am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Kidpreneurs — and adults — capitalize on gooey, squishy Slime craze


    First it was Play-Doh. Then Gak. There have been dozens of variations for sale of the oozy, gooey, squishable, stretchable kids' toy through the generations.

    Aletheia Venator and Berlyn Perdomo demonstrate the stretchiness of their slime. - Berlyn Perdomo and her friend, Aletheia Venator, both 13, make and sell slime which can be seen on their instagram site @the.real.slimeshadyy [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  2. After last year's drug-related deaths, Tampa's Sunset Music Festival says it's stepping up safety, security

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Alex Haynes worked three jobs. He had a fiance and an infant son. He owned his own home in Melbourne. Last summer, the 22-year-old attended the Sunset Musical Festival at Raymond James Stadium.

    He left in an ambulance.

    Last year’s Sunset Music Festival was marked by dozens of medical emergencies.
  3. What you need to know for Friday, May 26


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Read this morning why Florida's most prized sweet corn is nearly extinct. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. The last farmer of Florida's prized Zellwood corn is thinking of packing it in


    MOUNT DORA — Hank Scott steps out of his pickup between the long rows and snaps off an ear that grows about bellybutton-high on the forehead-high stalks.

    Hank Scott, co-owner of Long and Scott Farms, shucks an ear of corn on the farm in Mount Dora, Fla., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The farm specializes in Scott's Zellwood Triple-Sweet Gourmet Corn. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  5. Trump's rock-solid support shows in Pennsylvania: 'Why can't we be friends with Russia'


    HAZLETON, Pa. — To many here, the fires in Washington are distant and unimportant, a confusing jangle of news about Russia whipped up by forces set on ruining President Donald Trump.

    A street in downtown Hazleton, Pa. (Alex Leary  |  Times)