Big Hickory Island, located in Lee County along the mixed-energy west Florida coast, experiences high long-term rates of shoreline recession, with much of the erosion concentrated along the central and southern portions of the island. In 2013, approximately 86,300 cubic meters of sand from an adjacent tidal inlet to the north were placed along 457 m to restore the beach and dune system. In an effort to combat erosion, seven concrete king-pile groins with adjustable panels were constructed subsequent to the completion of the beach nourishment. Natural and human-induced dynamics of Big Hickory Island are discussed through analysis of shoreline and morphologic change using historic aerial photographs and topographic and bathymetric field surveys of the recent beach erosion mitigation project. Although much of the long-term anomalously high rates of erosion for the area are related to natural interchanges between the sand resources of the barrier islands and adjacent ebb tidal shoals, additional reduction in sand supply is a result of human-interventions updrift of Big Hickory over the last several decades. The coupled natural and anthropogenic influences are driving the coastal processes toward a different morphodynamic state than would have occurred under natural processes alone.
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