Sunday, January 8, 2012



One of Florida's main ecological concerns falls under the category of land erosion which occurs on the beaches, canals, and lakes of our beautiful state. Not only does erosion directly affect your personal real estate and the amount of property that you own, but it can cause pollution and damage to Florida's ecosystem as well.  If you are considering a waterfront property in Cape Coral, there is a good chance you will need to educate yourself about seawalls. 
 There are several different types of seawalls allowed here in Cape Coral. Here is a breakdown of Cape Coral's seawall guidelines:

What Exactly is a Seawall?
A seawall, also known as a retaining wall or bulkhead, is a defense used to reduce the effects of salt water and strong waves. A seawall also acts as a barrier to keep the water from pulling the soil into the water, which causes land erosion and property loss.
Depending on your exact Cape Coral waterfront location, you will have varying levels of erosion. Properties located in open, unprotected areas will experience more impact from storms and waves.
Most Cape Coral seawalls are concrete and must be permitted and then built according to proper city specifications.

Does my Seawall Have to be Concrete?
That depends entirely on the location of your waterfront property. If you are on fresh water, there are a couple of options aside from the standard concrete seawall. A rip rap slope or a sod slope are allowed as alternatives for fresh water properties only.
A rip rap slope involves grading the water's edge on a slope and placing rock, or rip rap, over filter material. This is quite a bit less expensive than building a concrete seawall, but will take away a portion of your actual buildable property.
A sod slope is the least expensive alternative and it involves grading the water's edge before placing sod over a jute material. Since the slope grading must be on a 4:1 angle, this option involves using the largest amount of your buildable property.
If your property is on salt water, chances are that you will need a concrete seawall. Again, there are variables to take into consideration, such as the type of barriers the neighboring properties are using, the tide levels, and the presence of other natural barriers. For a full education on seawall regulations, contact the City of Cape Coral, Public Works Department.

How Much Does a Concrete Seawall Cost?
There are many potential scenarios involved in the cost of a Cape Coral seawall. A ballpark average for a seawall (not including a dock or any type of boat lift) is approximately $100 per linear foot, although these prices could change at any time. When requesting an estimate, always call at least three companies to bid on your project.

Additional Seawall and Canal Tips
Regardless of the type of seawall construction your property requires, there are things you can do to encourage a healthy waterway around your property:
·      Planting native vegetation seaward of the seawall and remove any exotics. Planting non-native species can often cause problems with drainage and even water pollution due to the need for additional fertilizers or pesticides.
·      Keep the waterways free from yard debris such as leaves and grass clippings. Many individuals see no harm in using the canal to dispose of these seemingly harmless materials.  In reality, rotting and decomposing yard waste uses up a significant amount of oxygen. Depriving fish and aquatic life from this needed oxygen can cause a multitude of problems to the ecosystem.
·      Seawall Safety. Always keep in mind that a concrete, vertical seawall is a dangerous place for small children and even curious pets to wander around unsupervised. Your Cape Coral seawall will help to protect your property. Be sure you take the precautionary measures to protect your loved ones from potentially dangerous situations.

Additional information on permit guidelines and construction procedures is available through the city of Cape Coral.

'Get Your Move On with Mary.' Call or email The Mary Neilson Team 239-243-5989

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