Just a few updates based on questions received:
Yes, dogs will be allowed and poop scoop bags provided.
The beach is still on track to open in late July / early August. A ‘light’ opening will be announced on the Hillsborough County’s website as we as ABWIG.org
There *may* be a grander opening in fall when the temps cool a bit.
Personally, I am excited about how excited everybody is. We’re getting a BEACH!
Putting the BEACH Back in Apollo BEACH
APOLLO BEACH – Guess what? They’re putting the BEACH back in Apollo BEACH. If you’ve driven by the Apollo Beach Nature Preserve recently you may have noticed it’s been closed, since April. This is GREAT news.
WHY? After a long 5½ year wait (and immense efforts) the Hillsborough County Conservation & Environmental Lands Management group, partnering with the Apollo Beach Waterway Improvement Group (ABWIG), is moving a much needed and anticipated restoration project forward, and it’s moving forward quickly.
They are installing rock breakwaters to minimize shore erosion, restoring a BEACH in the Apollo Beach Nature Preserve (actually, they are restoring two beaches) and dredging the North, South and Main Channels so the threat of running aground is much less.
Hooray for beach goers. Hooray for boaters.
The Apollo Beach Nature Preserve’s closure is for safety while heavy equipment dredges the North, South and Main channels and restores the beach.
Fast…. Dredging the North Channel is expected to be completed by the end of next week (end of June – ish); the South and Main Channels will then be next and are expected to be completed by mid-July. Sand that is being removed during the channel dredging process is the sand that will be used to restore the beach.
Len Berkstresser, President of ABWIG, explains, “As they dredge the channels the sand they remove is put into containment areas, almost like a bathtub. When dredging is complete, the contained sand will then be used to restore two beaches in the Apollo Beach Nature Preserve.
Once beach restoration is complete and all heavy equipment and materials are removed, the Apollo Beach Nature Preserve will re-open, hopefully, by early August.
A REAL BEACH
For beach goers the great news is there will be TWO BEACHES: a 5-acre upper beach, near the current pavilion and restrooms, and a lower 2.5 acre beach.
For boaters, there is also good news. The North Channel will be nearly twice as long as it was originally, and all three channels will be a minimum of 7.5 feet (low tide) and 9 feet at high tide. Not more running aground!
EXCITEMENT / A LITTLE FUNDING STILL NEEDED
Len Berkstresser of ABWIG is naturally excited about the progress being made, but also wants the local community to know a few projects still need funding to fully complete the entire project. Approximately $4000.00 is still needed to replace four channel markers that were destroyed and not replaced, as well as adding new markers needed for the extended North Channel. In more good news, new markers indicating the new entrance to the North Channel and the entrance to the main channel will be floating and lit (less likely to be hit).
Donations can be made: https://fundly.com/bringing-the-beach-back-to-apollo-beach
FOLLOW THE BEACH AND CHANNEL RESTORATION PROJECT
WHO’S UP FOR A GAME OF BEACH VOLLEY BALL?
Let’s get excited Apollo Beach and South Shore. We’re about to have our very own beach again! This is fun stuff…. and just think about what it’s doing to all of our property values!