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Perdido Key beach erosion

PERDIDO KEY   --  How much environmental damage, if any, was caused by the stormy weather we experienced over the weekend?

Erosion in Perdido Key in particular has been a hot topic lately because the beach there is getting smaller and some say it's in desperate need of nourishment, or more sand.

Escambia County environmental authorities assessed the damage to the beach in Perdido Key and they say we dodged a bullet.
   
But a prominent environmental activist we spoke with has a different take.

Sava Varazo, Environmental Activist: "The effects are obviously devastating. As you can see, this is newly scoured shoreline out here in Perdido Key. This is private property."

Sava Varazo is the local director for the environmental group, Emerald Coastkeeper. He has 35 years of professional experience as a former employee of both the Florida Department Of Environmental Protection and the ECUA.

Sava Varazo, Environmental Activist: "These sea oats were standing high on top of soil before the storm. As you can see now over the last 48 hours due to wave action and mother nature's ability, we have lost quite a bit of sand."

Bill Smith, Sandy Key Condominiums: "It's disturbing. It really is."

Bill Smith, who manages a condominium complex in the area is concerned about the economic impact of erosion.

Bill Smith, Sandy Key Condominiums:  "If we continue to lose beach, we're gonna continue to lose a certain amount of the value of our property."

Susie Philhours has owned a condo on the beach for more than a decade.
She says she stays here for about two months a year.

Susie Philhours, Condo Owner: "We hardly don't have a beach anymore." Butt to:
"Someone needs to get some sand back up here."

County authorities are well aware of the state of the beach here.
But some say they have their hands tied when it comes to fixing the problem.

They've asked property owners to sign an easement - that's  an agreement that would give the county permission to have crews to replenish the sand on private beaches.

But so far only 30 percent of the property owners have signed on.

Commissioners say they need a majority to move forward on a beach nourishment project.

A proposal to use eminent domain to force the project through will be considered before the end of the year.