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Parts of Lido Beach suffering from severe beach erosion

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LIDO BEACH, FL (WWSB) - "It's extremely shocking," said Rolan Littlefield, an owner of a unit at Limetree Beach Resort.

That's the reaction from people visiting parts of Lido Beach.  Recent storms have showcased just how severe the erosion is, washing away large portions of sand on the southern end of the beach. 

Littlefield and his wife have never seen it this severe in the twenty years they've been coming here from South Carolina.

"I had no idea that the problem here is as bad as it is, all of this happened pretty much this weekend with the storm that came through and that wasn't a big storm," said Littlefield.  "What if a hurricane comes through."

This is upsetting for those who oversee the Gulf Beach Resort. Guests of the resort and other resorts next door have a challenging time just to get to the beach because of the erosion.  Concrete and rocks are now visible in sections that were completely covered by sand.  At the Gulf Beach Resort, they've even had to put warning tape around their popular Tiki Hut because of the dangers.

"It's concerning a great deal because the beach is our livelihood, we've been in the rental business since this place was built in 1949-50," said Ronell Jones, Board President of the Gulf Beach Owners' Association.

These erosion issues at Lido Beach is on the city of Sarasota's radar.  The short term plan is to have an emergency renourishment project before the end of the year where sand would be taken from New Pass to repair Lido Beach.  The city is also looking at a long range project.

"It's a 50 year project where we have a commitment from the Army Corps to help fund the project for a 50 year time period from the start when we do our first renourishment project," said Alex Davis Shaw, City Engineer for Sarasota.  "That one is designed with some terminal groins to lock the sand in so the sand stays in place longer."

The city of Sarasota says the short term solution to this beach erosion will happen in the coming months.

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