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Beach erosion becoming a huge problem on parts of Pensacola Beach
PENSACOLA BEACH -- Beach erosion is becoming a major problem for people who work and live on parts of Pensacola Beach. The main problem areas are behind Margaritaville Hotel and Regency Towers and parts of Park East.
Scott Manley and his family vacation on Pensacola Beach every couple of months.
"We were really surprised when we came in March to see how much it had eroded" said Scott Manley.
The erosion is a nuisance for business too. Larry Portor rents lounge chairs and umbrellas for Horizon Beach Service. He now has to move his chairs closer to the dunes thanks to the eroding beach.
"A nice level slope to the beach to all of a sudden you have a 5 foot cliff. The chairs we have out there, the wooden lounges, the chairs had fallen off the cliff and were down in the water" said Larry Port, Horizon Beach Service.
Life guards are also dealing with the effects of erosion.
"They're having to come off the beach, drive up on the road, and drive back down to get back on the beach, they can't even come through" said Portor.
The Santa Rosa Island Authority is trying to be proactive. They have applied for a permit with the state for a renourishment project. Escambia County could help fund the project with Restore Act money, but the Restore Act Committee has not yet decided how to spend that money.
"If we get a storm, a tropical storm much less a hurricane right now, there will be no beach here at Margaritaville, it will eat up the dunes" said Portor.
"It definitely makes a difference when you come down to go on vacation and the beach is gone" said Manley.
The last time Pensacola Beach was renourished was in 2005.