Current Beach Snapshot

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The restoration plan (click to enlarge) is comprised of renourishment and stabilization. The Renourishment portion of the project includes the placement of 100,000 cubic yards of sand (completed). During the Stabilization portion, 7 king-pile groins will be constructed along the beach. Dunes will also be added in front of the facilities. Most of the sand is underwater in the form of sand bars and offshore shoals. Expect much of the nourished sand to be transported offshore within a few days to months of construction. This is normal and expected. This sand isn’t “lost”- it needs to be offshore in the form of protective sand bars and the submerged portion of the beach (just like an iceberg!). We can’t put it there with bulldozers, so we rely on Mother Nature to redistribute the sand offshore.


The erosion-control structures selected and approved for Big Hickory Island are King-Pile Groins, which have adjustable concrete panels. This photo of a 50-year-old king-pile groin (click to enlarge) from Madeira Beach, Florida, gives an idea of what they will look like. Of course, our structures will look shiny and new! When walking along the beach, you will have to step over the 7 groins.

The net longshore sediment transport along Big Hickory Island is from south to north (click to enlarge).

                    Beach nourishment and groin construction involves heavy equipment and hazardous work zones.
                                                                            Please stay out of the work area

Can we use the beach during construction?
Most often, yes, the beach park will remain open for residents and guests. A portion of the beach will be closed for construction, but there will be an area open for recreation. Please stay out of the work zone. Equipment operators cannot see behind them--work areas are unsafe for pedestrians.

Where does the sand come from?
The sand for this nourishment is being dredged from an offshore shoal off New Pass that has been reviewed and authorized by several federal and state environmental and regulatory agencies.

How much sand will be placed?
Roughly 100,000 cubic yards of sand will be pumped to the beach. This translates to roughly 133,000 tons.

Is there any harm to the environment or to turtles?
The environmental harm is minimal as compared to the environmental restoration benefits. In a June 29, 2010 letter, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service stated that the project is not likely to jeopardize endangered sea turtles or shorebirds. They stated the following project benefits:
     • Increase sea turtle nesting habitat
     • Construction of a more stable beach, which would benefit sea turtles
     • The proposed groins may also benefit sea turtles by:
        - Reestablishing nesting habitat where none currently exists,
        - Stabilizing the beach to reduce escarpment formation,
        - Reducing destruction of nests from erosion
        - Reducing need for future sand placement events.

How much does the project cost?
Construction costs including the sand and groins are roughly $1.7 million.


August 15, 2013
To comply with the FDEP permit, the next step in the beach renourishment process is to till the new sand on our beach to a depth of 3 feet. Tilling is scheduled to start tomorrow, Tuesday, August 6 and should be completed by the end of the day Wednesday, August 7.

This process will fluff up the sand making it challenging to walk through until the rains are able to pack the sand back down. The Rangers will pack down a walkway to the chairs and along the front to try and make it easier for residents and guests to get to the lounges. But please take care and be cautious when walking the beach to avoid any injuries.

Thank you for your patience and understanding!

July 15, 2013

The renourishment portion of the project (placing 75,000 cubic yards of sand) has been completed. The stabilization of the beach will begin in early August with the installation of 7 king-pile groins. Note: Much of the sand placed will be transported offshore to create protective sand bars and underwater portions of the beach and is a calculated part of the project, so please do not be alarmed when sand washes away

June 11, 2013

In the 3 pictures posted from June 10th (click on photo album above)  you can see the increase of elevation that the beach will have as we move forward. The elevation will stay about where it is but the beach will expand to 200 to 250 ft outward. This just a small sample of what we are trying to accomplish. After 4 weeks of 24 hours a day continuous pumping we then will begin building the adjustable groins.  The groins will start at the North end and end at the South end.

June 10, 2013
After Tropical Storm Andrea shut down the pumping of sand last week, the project has once again resumed. Damages to the well pump house have also been repaired and the Beach Park is open.

May 31, 2013
Orion Marine Construction has moved to the borrow site off of Lovers Key. They are currently laying the piping, and will then bring the equipment to the south end of our island this afternoon. Surveyors will be arriving to start marking the fill template and boundaries of the project. They should be ready to start pumping sand onto our beach on Sunday.

May 30, 2013
Orion Marine Construction has move their dredge and other equipment to the pass between the dock and the bridge on the edge of the channel. They will begin preparing the pipeline and other perform other task needed prior to the startup. The beach equipment will be delivered onsite tomorrow.

May 21, 2013
Barring any adverse weather, our restoration project will begin May 27 or 28. The sand will be placed first and take approximately 1 month. The installation of the groins will begin soon thereafter.

May 16, 2013
The Preconstruction Meeting will be held Tuesday, May 21. Construction will begin about 30 days thereafter.

May 2, 2013
Contracts have been awarded to Orion Marine Construction, Inc. (beach) and Florida Marina Construction, Inc. (groins).

April 9, 2013 - Beach Erosion Meeting

March 13, 2013
PLCA is happy to announce that we have received our Permit from the Army Corp of Engineers to begin our beach restoration project. We are expecting the project to begin in June.

There will be a Residents' Meeting on Tuesday, April 9 @ 6pm in the Community Center. Doug Mann, Senior Coastal Engineer for Coastal Planning & Engineering, Inc., and Nicole Elko, Elko Coastal Consulting, Inc., will be on hand to review the plans and answer your questions.

January 16, 2013
PLCA Board Meeting report by WCI Senior Vice President Paul Erhardt

December 19, 2012
PLCA Board Meeting report by WCI Senior Vice President Paul Erhardt

November 21, 2012
PLCA Board Meeting report by WCI Senior Vice President Paul Erhardt

October 17, 2012
PLCA Board Meeting report by WCI Senior Vice President Paul Erhardt

September 25, 2012
We are pleased to announce that the PLCA Beach Restoration FDEP Permit was issued September 24, 2012. Our attorneys and engineers are studying the detailed conditions in the permit, and will be contacting contractors who may have an interest to bid on the work once all permits are approved. We will have a Special Board Meeting in the late fall or winter, when more residents are back, to discuss every aspect of this project before the restoration contracts are signed. Present at the Special meeting will be our engineers, attorneys, Hyatt, and WCI, who will address resident questions. The FDEP Permit documentation is available online by clicking HERE.

September 19, 2012
PLCA Board Meeting report by WCI Senior Vice President Paul Erhardt

August 15, 2012
PLCA Board Meeting report by WCI Senior Vice President Paul Erhardt

July 18, 2012
PLCA Board Meeting report by WCI Senior Vice President Paul Erhardt

June 25, 2012
We hope you are enjoying your summer whether here in Bonita Springs, at a northern home, or somewhere else your travels make take you.

The purpose of this note is to provide an update on key status of the Pelican Landing beach restoration project. This is a complex endeavor spanning a long period of time so keeping up with the current ‘score’ is not easy. We hope this overview will bring you up to date.

Progress to Date

The objective of the project remains to mitigate the risk of a future total loss of beach and to recover and sustain beach area previously lost. The method which has been determined to have the highest likelihood of success in terms of state permits, construction cost and execution, and sustained improvement is to build a series of ‘groins’ which are concrete structures which will extend horizontally westward from the existing beach to provide stability and can be adjusted depending on future conditions. The second step will pump compatible sand recovered from the Gulf bottom to create new beach areas between and over the groins.

The process includes:

     1)  Design of the groin system (complete)
     2)  Funding of the project (PLCA reserves are already funded to levels to meet half of the original project cost estimate. Hyatt Hotels and the
          Hyatt Coconut Plantation are obligated by existing agreements and commitment to fund the other half of the cost.)
     3)  Permitting with the State of Florida and City of Bonita Springs (where we are today)
     4)  Construction
     5)  Ongoing operation


A series of consultations and studies with the Florida Department of State Lands led to the state determination that:

     1)  PLCA could construct the system as proposed because it met a number of complex environmental hurdles and
     2)  The ‘new’ land would be considered State of Florida lands and therefore a long-term easementwould be required. Said another way, the new
           area will be State property. The groins themselves will be PLCA property located within state lands by rights granted by the easement.

PLCA completed the permit application in May, 2012 and currently waits for state comments during an expected 90 day review period.

The ‘devil is in the details’ of the easement …which will include fees, maintenance responsibilities, rights of use and access of PLCA versus public individuals who may arrive on state lands. What is certain….is that we don’t know the position of the State on these items at this time…and that PLCA is not committed to any of these terms at this time.

Next Steps

We are currently cooperating with the State on a number of tasks which will culminate in proposed easement terms. It will then be the collective decision of the PLCA and Hyatt to accept, reject or negotiate the terms and move forward into bidding and construction. To that end, the PLCA board anticipates an all-resident meeting at that time to review, discuss, and receive resident feedback in the late fall time-frame at which time the project will shift from permitting and approvals to construction.

June 2012  -  Beach update in Pelican Briefing Article by John Duder
We remain in constant contact with all relevant city, county, state and federal authorities as needed to obtain permits for Big Hickory Island beach renourishment. Our former Board member and Vice President, Tom Betts has done a remarkable job over the past several years in guiding us to the point where the final step in permitting is under way. That is a state-mandated survey to determine the boundary between the land we own, and the state-owned lands. I want to thank Tom personally and publicly for his persistence and skill in navigating us through numerous issues with the authorities, and in particular with the state agencies in Tallahassee. That work is nearing completion, and with Tom's absence from the Board, the lead is transitioning to Director Paul Erhardt. Paul is working closely with Marie and Beach Manager Tom Schemeneaur. We have prepared a contract with Coastal Planning and Engineering Inc. (CP&E) that will go into effect when the permits are issued. CP&E will put the work out to bid, then hire and schedule the firms that will do the actual work of renourishing our beach. The time frame will depend on the schedules of qualified contractors, but we hope to begin the bidding process this summer. Meanwhile, we had a wonderful season of very active beach use with beautiful white sand available for our chaises and umbrellas on Big Hickory Island. We look forward to the day when the island will be restored and stabilized to near its former state.

October 21, 2011
The PLCA coastal permit application with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) during the summer months slowed down to a crawl primarily due to our pursuit of an avulsion request with Florida State Lands as reported to all our residents in our September 22, 2011 communiqué. During these summer months some residents have voiced concern with the wording in the first paragraph of PLCA’s coastal permit application “Attachment No. 28 Natural Community Description”. Concerned residents have pointed out that the wording in the first paragraph could be interpreted that the “general public” along with PLCA residents and their guests, Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa and Hyatt Coconut Plantation all have equal use of our Beach Park. Extrapolating from this wording the concerned residents claimed that our beach is no longer a private beach park but a public beach.

PLCA’s Beach Park is private. On September 23, 2011 we revised the wording with the consul from Coastal Planners & Engineers (CPE) and submitted to FDEP a revised first paragraph that will now read as follows:
Big Hickory Island is a low-lying, narrow barrier island that has experienced significant erosion and washover in recent years (Olsen, 1994).  The island has been little-developed and retains much of its natural community. The only development is a 34-acre beach park on the northern end of the island, primarily used for recreation including swimming, fishing and sunbathing. The park is only accessible by shuttle boat for the Pelican Landing Community Association, the Hyatt Hotel at Coconut Point, and the Hyatt Vacation Club.  The beach facility, which consist of a covered picnic pavilion, open deck areas, restrooms, shower facilities and two open picnic pavilions, beach lounges and umbrellas, are for use by the Pelican Landing Community Association, the Hyatt Hotel at Coconut Point, and the Hyatt Vacation Club only.  The general public can access the island by private boat through the adjacent County or State Park lands, but has no use of the facilities of the park.
CPE has confirmed to PLCA that the above revised paragraph will not cause FDEP to open up the entire coastal permit application process. The PLCA Board has never intended our Beach Park to be open for use by the general public. We do share our Beach Park with the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa and the Hyatt Coconut Point Plantation contractually covered by the Settlement Agreement.

We continue to believe that our coastal permit application with the Coastal and Beach section of FDEP stands on solid technical grounds for approval. In the mean time we are consulting with our attorneys, CPE and FDEP to find an agreed upon path forward with Florida State Lands on the avulsion issue. This matter does not derail our coastal permit application--just slows it down. We will get our coastal permit granted--it is just a matter of when. Keep the faith.

September 22, 2011
The beach park on Big Hickory Island has fared very well throughout the summer months in total. We have experienced times where we have lost sand but then we have turned right around and gained the lost sand back due to favorable winds and current conditions. We are at the height of the hurricane season and so far this season the beach has held its own. So come out and enjoy our sandy beach.

We have every reason to believe that our permit application with the Coastal and Beach section of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) continues to be on solid technical grounds for approval. The holdup has been with our pursuit of an avulsion claim request with Florida State Lands allowing us to reclaim the land that we have lost over the past 7 years due to erosion. Florida State Lands does not have under the state law any time restraints in which to respond to a submitted request unlike Coastal and Beaches where they have to respond within 90 days. It has been over a year since we retained Broad & Cassel Attorneys at Law in Tallahassee to shepherd our avulsion claim thru the  Florida State Lands section to a favorable conclusion. For the last 4 months we have been waiting for Florida State Lands to issue a favorable decision on our avulsion request for Big Hickory Island. Our consultants, Bob Dean and Doug Mann, have worked very closely with our Tallahassee Attorney to achieve our goal. This waiting period during the summer months has proven to be especially difficult for all of us working on this avulsion effort while literally receiving no feedback from Florida State Lands as to where we stood during this period.

We have been notified by letter addressed to our attorney, Doug Rillstone, dated August 31, 2011 informing PLCA that our avulsion request has been denied based on their conclusion that the state lands below the current mean high water line are state-owned sovereignty lands. We first saw this letter on September 9th and have been trying find out the true basis on which this decision was based because there was no explanation given with this short terse letter.

Tom Schemenaur has just returned this week from a 3-day technical meeting sponsored by Florida Shore & Beach Preservation Association where he was able to meet informally with some of the FDEP folks to glean information for us to base and develop a path forward. Our consultants are also actively doing the same for us. In the long permitting process this avulsion issue has been our first setback but it is not something we cannot manage through with FDEP. Remember, we have every reason to believe that our permit application is on solid technical grounds for approval. It is just a matter of when. Keep the faith.

January 19, 2011
For most of the last 6 years, the truth has been that our usable beach has varied with the tides and the many surprises Mother Nature has laid before us by nibbling away at our beach shores. We are in our second year of working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to acquire our joint coastal permit application approval. A year ago at this time we were projecting and hopeful that we would be successful and have our requested permit in hand by the end of the year 2010. But this is not the case.

Our biggest challenge in this permitting process has proven to be reaching consensus with Lee County on the merits of incorporating the use of King-pin groins (hard structures) in our submitted design to stabilize the beach. We reviewed several different alternatives on how to effectively stabilize our beach with our consultants before adopting the King-pin groin (hard structure) design. This design based on hard structures was determined to provide the most efficient stabilization method over a period of several years while being environment friendly at the best economical cost. We have visited a very attractive beach on the Gulf, Madeira Beach, located north of us in Pinellas County where King-pin groins have been successfully in place for over 50 years.

Lee County opposition to our permit application has been documented with FDEP in writing over the past year. Lee County is not only opposed to the use of hard structures but also has concerns that our project will have negative effects on their beach on Lovers Key. We have met with Lee County personnel both on Big Hickory Island and across the table several times to discuss their concerns. Their documented concerns with FDEP necessitates that we in turn address and respond to each of their concerns in writing. This has resulted in extending the life of the permitting process and resounding  additional costs.   

We do want to cooperate with Lee County since they are our neighbors both to our North and South of our Beach Park. We volunteered to modify our project design and reduce the number of King-pin groins in one of our meetings this past fall. This was well received by Lee County. But then we had to make a formal request with FDEP to modify our permit application resulting in more “Requests for Additional Information” (RAI) #3 and now RAI #4. We understand that Lee County now will not submit anymore comments to FDEP and will let the permit process proceed on the Florida State level. This is a positive step forward.

It is important to say that the City of Bonita Springs has been fully supportive of our permit application from the start. Big Hickory Island Beach Park is within the governmental jurisdiction of the City of Bonita Springs thus it is imperative to have their approval of our project. Lee County is not the governing entity in the permit process – the City of Bonita Springs is.

We have been fortunate to have the Hyatt as a partner and excellent consultants guiding us through the entire permitting process and attending meetings on all levels with the different relevant government agencies. We have been frustrated but not deterred. We will get our requested permit approved by FDEP. We are estimating by the second quarter of 2011. We still think that we can have the beach renourished and a completed project within budget by the first half of 2011 hurricane season. Keep your fingers crossed.

August 31, 2010
Beach Stabilization costs still remain estimated at three million ($3M) shared by PLCA and the Hyatt, depending on beach usage. PLCA set up a reserve account and projected that the residents would pay an additional $100 per year, part of the annual assessment, for five years starting in 2010. In the fifth year (2014) the reserve account would contain the needed $1.5 million to pay our share of the beach stabilization project. So far we have been extremely successful in accelerating the permitting process with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to the point where we feel it is reasonable to anticipate that our permit could be granted during this coming winter. This is considerably sooner than originally projected.  If all goes well in securing bids from contractors to do the actual work on the beach, we could have a stabilized beach by the summer of 2011 for the forecasted amount of approximately $3 million. This potentially accelerated project timetable warrants that in 2011 we put into the reserve account the amount that was originally scheduled to be collected over a two year period. Thus reducing the anticipated project life for collecting reserve funds from 5 years to 3 years. This project will continually be reviewed and evaluated.

November 11, 2009
Welcome back! As more residents return to Pelican Landing, the number of visitors to the beach each day is increasing. We are now officially in the 'dry season' and the weather is certainly cooperating with continued record breaking temperatures. The Gulf water temperatures are still in the 80s. So, enjoy our most valued amenity.

At this time, we would like to review the financial aspects of our beach erosion project but first we want to remind you to mark your calendar and urge you to attend the November 17, 2009 - 5:30 p.m. at the Community Center - Beach Erosion Update - for a presentation by our consultant team, officials of the City of Bonita Springs and Lee County and others regarding the status of:

    During the May 2008 Board of Directors meeting, the Beach Erosion task force was named, led by Tom Betts. This Board action initiated a series of financial decisions that have been implemented to date, but more decisions are still to be made to achieve a successful re-nourished beach park.

    The question that is frequently asked is 'how much have we spent and how much more will it take' to complete the re-nourishment project. Remember, PLCA and the Hyatt share ALL costs proportionally, depending on beach usage.

    Our goal in this communication is to report the progression of activities and related costs. Within this email, we will outline the monies requested and approved by the BOD for this project. Please note that as of this date, not all requested and approved funds have been spent.

    June 2008

    At our request, The Florida Department of Environmental Protection put Big Hickory Island on the State's 'Critical Beach Erosion List.' This listing was very important to us because we then became eligible for potential public funding from the State, Lee County and bed tax from the Tourist Development Council.

    July 2008 contracted with Dr. Robert Dean as a coastal engineering consultant to:

    (1) attempt to identify the cause(s) and nature of the erosion
    (2) personally inspect Big Hickory Island and
    (3) develop the most appropriate coastal engineering strategy to address the problem.

    The total approved cost for his 60 hours of consulting was $10,500.

    November 24, 2008

    At a community meeting Dr. Dean presented his report on the investigation of causes for erosion and options for Big Hickory Island.  His report is available on DVD at the Community Center and is on Channel 95 on Tuesday & Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

    December 2008

    We contracted Dr. Nicole Elko, President, Elko Coastal Consulting, Inc., to review and provide guidance on three beach stabilization proposals being submitted by coastal engineering firms. Thereafter, she continued to provide guidance on the involved permitting process as proposed by the selected coastal engineering firm, Coastal Planning and Engineering, Inc. $5,000 was approved for these services. Dr. Robert Dean's contract as a consultant was extended for up to an additional 60 hours or $10,500 maximum.

    February 2009

      July 2009

        August 2009

        The City of Bonita Springs adopted an emergency declaration of beach erosion on Big Hickory Island, which allowed the PLCA to place sandbags on our beach. The PLCA BOD approved $80,000 for the 'sandbag project.' Approximately 8,000 bags of 'compatible sand' were placed at the most critical erosion point on our beach. We have an inventory of about 4000 sandbags to get us through the 2010 hurricane season. The local representatives of the FDEP and Turtle Time monitored the sandbagging project. These endeavors appear to be successful.

        October 2009

          Here is summary of the monies actually spent to date.

          Account Name

          Amount BOD Approved

          Amount Paid

          Amt Paid vs. Amt Approved %

          1. Consultants

          $ 41,000

          $ 35,904


              a. Dr. Dean

                      $ 21,000

                      $ 23,673


              b. Dr. Elko

                      $ 20,000

                      $ 12,231


          2. Coastal Planning &          Engineering


          $ 96,492


          3. Sandbags

          $ 80,000

          $ 74,332







          Hyatt paid ....................... $ 100,882.86

          PLCA paid....................... $ 105,844.31, or $33 per household.

          We look forward to seeing you at our Beach Erosion update meeting in the Community Center, November 17, 5:30-7:30pm.

          October 1, 2009

          As autumn 2009 arrives, our northern residents are planning their return to Pelican Landing. Uppermost in their minds may be the thought of relaxing at the community's most visited and most important amenity--Big Hickory Island. Our 2008 resident survey attests to the above belief and ranked "the beach park" first among contributing elements to property value in Pelican Landing.

          This Beach Erosion update demonstrates the PLCA Board of Directors' intent of informing (as it has in the past and will in the future) all residents about the continuing challenges we face in stabilizing, maintaining and eventually re-nourishing the island.

            Mark your calendar

                Beach Erosion Update meeting - November 17 - 5:30 p.m. at the Community Center

                August 28, 2009

                The 250-lineal-foot sandbagging project at the location of the most critical erosion was completed last Wednesday, August 19 under the authority of the City of Bonita Springs passing a declaration of emergency of severe beach erosion on Big Hickory Island. The sandbags were placed starting with a 6-foot base and built up to a 2.5 to 3 feet height on a 30 degree incline, and then the sandbag wall was backfilled with beach sand. The 30 degree incline allows turtles to be able to climb over the sandbag wall and lay their eggs and return to sea. The sandbags are holding well and, in the last week, we have gained sand covering the bottom half of the wall--this is good. The local representative from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) inspected the project and found no fault with its construction and would report an affirmative to Tallahassee. The City of Bonita Springs' declaration of emergency is only valid for 30 days. Therefore, we are obligated to submit a request to the FDEP to extend the period of emergency. Our coastal engineering firm is coordinating this effort and we do not anticipate any problems with the submittal, especially since we have coordinated very closely with FDEP on this entire sandbagging project. Again, this sandbagging project is just a temporary step to avert any further erosion of our island during the time we are actively preparing our request to FDEP for stabilization and re-nourishment of our beach. We have approximately 3,000 sandbags left for replacements after possible storm damage and/or added protection. High-fives go to our entire beach staff for their extra effort to complete this project.

                August 8, 2009
                The stage is set at our Big Hickory Island beach to start sandbagging this coming week. A great deal of effort over more than two months by our Staff personnel will see the fruition of their concentrated efforts become a reality. Sandbagging is only a temporary step in attempting to abate the erosion, especially in these summer months when the potential for beach erosion is highest. This project can proceed based on the City of Bonita Springs adopting a resolution declaring a state of emergency on Big Hickory Island due to severe beach erosion, along with the support of Turtle Time and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

                The beach FDEP-approved upland sand is being supplied from Farbee Mines located in Charlotte County, approximately 60 miles from our beach. We have ordered 12,000 sandbags, each weighting 40 pounds. The sandbags are palletized and will transported by truck to the parking lot of Lee County Doggie Park where the sandbags will then be loaded onto a barge and placed on our beach's eastern shore at the south side, right next to our north dock. The pallets will then be moved by a forklift tractor traveling along our pathway to the area of the old pavilion and the kiosk.

                The plan is to shore up about 300 lineal feet of beach frontage at this critical location and keep the beach from receding further back into the island. Approximately 10,000 sandbags will be placed in position now and the remaining 2,000 sandbags will be placed in the November time frame after turtle nesting season is over. These remaining sandbags will be used where repairs are needed to the existing sandbags. The cost estimate is projected to be $70,000, and the project should be finished within 10 days and like always on the beach--weather permitting.

                July 17, 2009
                At high tide, the sea level is at the bottom of the first step of the old pavilion, which is located approximately at the mid-point of our beach. This is the location were our beach elevation is at its lowest or about 2 feet above sea level and results in the most critical situation on our beach from a sea wash-over, which we have already experienced in the near past. In the last 2 months, our beach operations manager has been working to have a sandbagging project approved. The City of Bonita Springs passed a "Resolution Declaring a Shoreline Emergency on Big Hickory Island" and together with the consent from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and Turtle Time, we will be ready to start placing 16,000 sandbags at this mid-point by early August and aim to have the sandbag stabilization completed by the end of month at an estimated cost of $80,000. The sandbag project is considered as only a temporary stabilization option on our shared beach. It is necessary to move forward now due to the potential for severe weather conditions that can cause the highest levels of beach erosion during the year. In the meantime, we continue to work with our consultants to submit our application to FDEP for a permit to stabilize, followed with the sand renourishment of our beach. We estimate that our permit application to the State will be ready in the next 45 days. This week, PLCA and Hyatt representatives met with Lee County Commissioner Ray Judah and his manager of Marine Programs to request Lee County's support of our permit application to the State. The Hyatt clearly stated why our shared beach is so important to their success and ability to compete with other high-end hotels, such as in Collier County. The potential for public funding on our project was discussed with the Commissioner based on the Hyatt's significant bed tax contribution to Lee County. The high point of our meeting was when Commissioner Judah stated that Lee County would support us as a government sponsor in our shared beach permit application to the State of Florida.

                May 8, 2009

                The Beach Erosion Committee (BEC) met with Coastal Planning and Engineering, Inc. (CPE) on May 5. The BEC decided that CPE should apply for the short-term and long-term permits concurrently with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) at no extra cost to the PLCA. The concurrent approach must still be approved by the PLCA Board. The BEC also decided that CPE should set up a pre-application meeting in Tallahassee with the FDEP permitting department.

                During a visit by a local FDEP worker, it was suggested that the PLCA look into obtaining an emergency permit by applying through the City of Bonita Springs. The BEC is acting on this advice and will invite City officials to Big Hickory Island to view the beach erosion first-hand. The target is to have a resolution brought before the City Council next month, increasing the probability that some remedial work may be done this summer.

                The next BEC meeting is being scheduled for Monday, May 18 @ 2pm.

                February 1, 2009
                We recognize from our Community surveys that our Beach Park on Big Hickory Island is our most valued amenity. In light of the severe erosion experienced over the last year, the PLCA Board of Directors established the Beach Erosion Committee (BEC), which is working diligently to preserve this highly-prized amenity.

                With Board approval, the BEC retained two consultants, Dr. Robert Dean, Consultant in Coastal Engineering and Dr. Nicole Elko, Coastal Coordinator for Pinellas County.

                The BEC met on January 19 to review three different proposals from highly regarded and qualified coastal engineering firms. The proposals were based on our goals which are: 1) a short-term erosion control project to forestall continued erosion, 2) a long-term erosion control solution, and 3) a reasonable budget. The three proposals were also reviewed by the two consultants and each gave the BEC their independent conclusions. Dr. Elko attended the January 19 BEC meeting and compared each proposal as to the costs, design, permitting and provisions of needed plans and specifications. She was thorough in answering all of the committee's questions.

                Based on this input, the BEC presented copies of the three coastal engineering firm's proposals and made its recommendation on the firm selected to members of the Finance/Audit Committee, who reviewed and discussed it at their January 20 meeting. The Finance/Audit Committee was well prepared and asked many questions especially on the long term implications of the amount of monies it would ultimately cost our Community, over what period of time these monies would be spent and what were the BEC's plans to communicate with residents. The Finance/Audit Committee approved the monies to contract with the chosen firm that would take us through the design and permitting to meet both our short-term goal of preserving our beach at its current state and a long-term erosion control solution. Any physical work would start after receiving the permits for meeting our short-term goal and after turtle nesting season, which runs from May 1 through November 1. The design and permitting process would start immediately after the Board formalizes a contract with the selected coastal engineering firm.

                At the January 21 PLCA Board meeting, after lengthy discussion, the Board concluded that before taking any action, it would refer the topic to the UOC for discussion at its February 4 meeting. However the Board did recognize that this is a time sensitive issue and asked for a speedy recommendation from the UOC. In order to facilitate this process, we are sharing the following cost figures so that residents can make their opinion known to their UOC representative before February 4 meeting. The Board has also scheduled a resident meeting on February 11, 2:00pm at the Community Center to discuss the beach erosion options.

                The money outlay in 2008 has been approximately $11,000 for Dr. Dean's consultant work, which is shared on an almost 50/50 percentage basis with the Hyatt Resort Hotel & Spa and Hyatt Coconut Plantation. Any monies spent on the beach erosion challenge as we go forward will continue to be cost shared with the Hyatt on this same basis. In 2009, we estimate that less than $130,000 will be spent towards achieving our short-term goal. The spending of larger sums of monies, estimated to be in the range of $1.5 to $3.0 million over a five year period, could start in late 2010 to achieve our long-term goal. A reserve account to meet the longer term money requirements would be established after the Board approves going forward with a coastal engineering firm.

                We are encouraged by our consultant, Dr. Elko, who feels that because of the sharing of our beach with the Hyatt Resort Hotel & Spa and Hyatt Coconut Plantation, we may well qualify for State of Florida and Lee County funding support. We will have to work hard on this because there are not a great deal of funds out there at this time. On January 13, 2009, The PLCA Board addressed a letter to our Lee County Commissioners and copied relevant Lee County and City of Bonita Springs officials stating the severity of the beach erosion on Big Hickory Island and requesting that Big Hickory Island be put on the Lee County Beach Management Program. Becoming part of this program would allow us to be notified of any beach remediation work being done on any of the Lee County beaches so we could consider taking any cost advantages that may present themselves based on the economy of scale.

                January 30, 2009
                The Board has scheduled a resident meeting on February 11 @ 2pm at the Community Center to discuss the beach erosion options.

                November 14, 2008
                On Monday, November 24, a special Board of Directors meeting will be held @ 9:00am at the Community Center. Dr. Robert Dean, SC.D, graduate Research Professor, will be presenting a report on the investigation of erosional causes and options for Big Hickory Island. Dr. Dean is a renowned Coastal and Oceanographic Engineer and was contracted to investigate the causes and solutions to the beach erosion that is occurring on Big Hickory Island.

                This meeting will be very informative and we urge residents to attend.

                August 22, 2008
                On Wednesday, August 20th, one day after Tropical Strom Fay passed over SW Florida, our dedicated beach staff made a 7:00 A.M. physical inspection of the condition of our beach. Marie Martel and Tom Schemenaur observed that some sand had been deposited resulting in a net gain. Another inspection of the beach was done on the same day about 4:00 P.M. at high tide and it was observed that the net gain had been lost and some erosion was continuing due to the combination of southwesterly winds and high tides. Our beach erosion challenges continue. Dr. Robert Dean, consultant to the PLCA Beach Erosion Committee, recommended that we send a "letter of interest" to Coastal Planning and Engineers located in Boca Raton, FL and they have responded positively. We now have four contractors who are interested in bidding to do the physical work to stabilize our beach based on their knowledge and Dean's recommendations. We are expecting Dean's report by mid-November '08.

                August 8, 2008
                The beach has experienced some 2 to 3 feet further erosion on the south end of the island while the north end of the island has been much less affected in the past 2 weeks. On July 25th, Dr. Robert Dean, Consultant in Costal and Ocean Engineering, met with the Beach Erosion Committee (BEC) and visited Big Hickory Island. He observed the beach from the Gulf off shore and walked the beach to observe the physical erosion up close. Dr. Dean signed a letter of agreement to consult with the PLCA on the same day. He comes to us highly recommended and is considered the guru of Florida coastal engineering. He estimated that his initial studies and recommendations to the BEC would take 90 days and he will confirm his findings in writing considering short term and long term solutions.

                May 9, 2008
                Our beach is the most used and valued amenity we have within the Pelican Landing Community. For the past several years, we have observed that we have been losing usable beach area on which we could place the umbrellas, chairs and lounges. The beach erosion issue has become the administrative staff's top priority since discovering last year that the beach loss due to rain and tropical storms was taking a greater toll on the island than previously realized. In the past year the Staff has had direct contact with different firms to investigate what can be done to ameliorate the erosion. At the same time, our General Manager and Board President have made contacts with governmental agencies to inquire about possible funding revenues and a feasibility study. At the May 7th UOC meeting, the Beach Committee made a presentation showing the seriousness of the beach erosion. During the May 21st Board meeting, a presentation will be made by a firm named Beach Restorations Incorporated, who has had experience with beach erosion. We will be sending periodic updates to keep you informed on any steps being taken to alleviate the erosion.