Beach Sand Rebuilding Slated for Next Spring

Bay County beaches will get tons of sand to replace what Hurricane Ivan washed away, thanks to a state and federal partnership, but one waterfront community is getting left out and they aren't happy.

Carillon Beach and Pinnacle Port before Ivan had lots of sand on the beach. It’s a different story today. The area suffered Bay County's worst erosion along 18 miles of beach front property. About 23 feet deep is gone from the shoreline and complete sand dune loss and now homeowners are worried it's going to stay like this.

Gina Persall is the Pinnacle Port Assistant Manager and says, "Our renourishment money from FEMA went into the main Bay County pot. Unfortunately Pinnacle Port and Carillon Beach are not included in the state and federal renourishment project.”

Lisa Heckman with the Tourist Development Council says there’s a reason for that.

"They have no public access and can't be included under the federal project area."

Because it's a private beach many people object to spending dollars to revitalize a beach they can't use. This has been a problem for the Pinnacle Port area in the past.

After Opal property owners got special permission from the Tourism Development Council to have replacement sand pumped in. However, this time around adding the Carillon Beach area would up the renourishment price tag more than $1 million.

The Tourism Development Council will have to make that decision sometime before the project gets underway in late spring of next year.

Heckman says even if the project excludes Carillon Beach and Pinnacle Port the area will still get a few feet in drift sand from the construction to the east.