Ben T. Davis Beach is disappearing due to erosion and the city can't fix the problem

Posted at 3:28 PM, Jun 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-05 19:53:27-04

TAMPA — Ben T. Davis Beach is getting smaller. The city of Tampa tells ABC Action News that erosion is the cause. 

City leaders say the beach has been eroding for about 30 years. Recent storms and hurricanes have made things worse. 

"It is a growing problem," said Paul Dial, the director of parks and recreation for the city of Tampa.

According to Dial, the city did a study about 10 years ago, to see what needs to be done. He said the study revealed that a beach renourishment project will cost the city millions.  According to him, the permitting process alone is $1 million. The city doesn't have "the dollars in the budget for that project," said Dial. 

We talked to several people on the beach Tuesday morning. Some of them have noticed that a good chunk of the beach is gone.

"It isn't as big as it used to be," said Jeff Rutch. "You used to be able to go at least two more miles down close to the bridge. Now water is there." 

Jeff and his best friend come out to Ben T. Davis Beach every Tuesday. It's a tradition they started about 25 years ago. He says he's not too worried about erosion. He believes they'll still be sitting out on the beach for 25 more years.

"It'll still be here. I believe that," said Rutch.