Collier Storm Resilience Study

More opportunities to provide your input

While the “scoping” commenting period is over for the Collier County Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) feasibility study, the study is far from over and there will be many more opportunities for public input. Thankfully, the Army Corps (Corps) promised they will listen to the public’s concerns and will accept input throughout the study process.

On June 21 and 22, 2023, the Corps provided an “array of alternatives” for a storm mitigation plan in Collier County, based on the stakeholder charrettes that took place in April. The Conservancy was very pleased to see that the massive surge barrier at Wiggins Pass was screened out of the study and that the Corps stated they are committed to prioritizing nature-based solutions. In subsequent meetings, other proposed gates and walls were removed from the study.

However, the study is far from over. The Conservancy is still concerned that environmentally destructive measures having serious consequences on our coastal environment and quality of life, could later be included in the study as potential solutions.

The Corps is in the process of modeling and evaluating proposed measures, so it is still too early to tell which measures will move forward to the “Tentatively Selected Plan” (TSP), to be presented to the Board of County Commissioners in April of 2024.

Well before the TSP is presented, more public meetings will be held. The CSRM Advisory Committee meetings are scheduled as needed. Please contact Chris Mason, Collier County’s Director of Community Planning and Resiliency, if you would like to be notified of the next meeting: Christopher.Mason@colliercountyfl.gov They are held at the Collier County Growth Management office, Room 609/610 at 2885 Horseshoe Dr. S, Naples, FL. 34104.

Also, the Army Corps and the County are hosting a public “Virtual Monthly Project Status” meeting on the last Wednesday of every month, starting at 3:30 pm. The first 15 minutes of the meeting are reserved for general status updates on the study, while the remaining 45 minutes are dedicated to answering public questions and hearing comments.

Click here to learn more about upcoming meetings. 

Bayfront Rooftop4

We need your help

We need all hands on deck to help create a more sustainable storm resilience plan for Collier County and the entire Southwest Florida region. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now seeking public input for their “Collier County Coastal Storm Risk Management,” (CSRM) feasibility study. The purpose of the study is to recommend a plan to reduce the county’s risk from storm surge and improve coastal resilience.  

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is urging all citizens to participate in this vitally important storm resilience planning process that will forever shape the future of Collier County’s coast. 

The public has limited time and opportunities to urge Collier County and the Army Corps to ensure that our world-renowned coastal resources, tourism, and our local way of life are safeguarded.   

Army Corps presentation from June 2023

The Conservancy believes that the public should insist on a better plan for Collier County than what was offered by the 2020 CSRM. A storm surge plan must work in concert with nature, not against nature.  

We believe it is possible to design a storm resilience plan with the goal of protecting life and property, as well as preserving some of the natural coastal resources, which are important for maintaining the many businesses and livelihoods that make up Collier County’s robust economy.   

The Conservancy is encouraging property owners and businesses, recreational and commercial anglers, ecotourism outfits, hoteliers, restaurant owners, natural resource managers, and local scientists and engineers, among others, to attend the meetings and provide input.  

Please TAKE ACTION by emailing the Army Corps with the elements that are most important to you in a storm resilience plan.

The future of Collier County depends on YOU!
 

HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE

Submit written comments

The Corps is accepting comments at any time during the study process. If you would like to provide comments regarding the proposed measures or any other comments on the study, please click on the link below.

Please participate in as many of these meetings as you can, and submit your written comments! 

TAKE ACTION

Nature-Based Solutions

Nature-based solutions for coastal protection are strategies that use natural systems to protect us from wind, waves, storm surge, flooding, and erosion.

Examples of nature-based solutions include: Mangrove preservation, planting and restoration, oyster reef restoration, salt marsh restoration, and dune restoration.

Artificial reefs are examples of hybrid approaches that combine natural solutions with engineered solutions.

Living shorelines, living breakwaters, and spoil islands are other examples that may use hybrid approaches for coastal protection.

Living Shoreline2
Living shoreline

Living shorelines can protect coastal communities from storms and erosion. They consist of natural materials like marsh grasses and oyster shells that absorb waves and storm surges.

Living shorelines improve water quality, provide habitats for plant and animal species, and can be more cost-effective and visually appealing than traditional seawalls.

Livingbreakwater
Living breakwater

Living breakwaters protect coastal communities from storm surges and erosion by dissipating wave energy. They provide habitats for marine species, improve water quality, and can be aesthetically pleasing and serve as outdoor classrooms for education.

Oyster Reef
Oyster reef

Oyster reefs protect coastal communities from erosion, improve water quality, create valuable habitats, and can be more cost-effective than traditional hard infrastructure. Additionally, oyster reefs can help coastal communities become more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Detached Breakwater
Detached breakwater

Detached breakwaters are offshore barriers made of natural materials that protect coastal communities from storm surges and erosion. They are effective at reducing wave energy and can also create valuable habitats for marine species.

Barrier Islands Web
Barrier islands

Barrier islands can be natural or manmade landforms that provide a buffer against storms and waves, and support important habitats for wildlife. They also provide opportunities for recreation and can support local economies. Additionally, barrier islands can help coastal communities become more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Impacts to wildlife

The 2020 plan proposes unacceptable impacts to the following nine federally endangered or threatened marine species and bird species including the giant manta ray, Gulf sturgeon, small tooth sawfish, green sea turtle, hawksbill sea turtle, Kemp’s ridley, leatherback sea turtle, and loggerhead sea turtle, the piping plover, red knot, and wood stork. 

The 2020 plan also anticipated unacceptable significant impacts to EFH and EFH-managed species, and their prey, including corals, red drum, shrimp, 31 reef fish, coastal migratory pelagic fish, and spiny lobster.

Giant Manta Ray
Giant manta ray
Sawfish
Smalltooth sawfish
Green Sea Turtle
Green sea turtle
Wood Stork Web
Wood stork
Plover Web
Piping plover
Sturgeon Web
Gulf sturgeon