Updates From Your Board

Board Meeting – February 5, 2024
The Water Quality Committee is hoping to move forward with assessing the water flow in the culverts. Water testing efforts continue, and information on aerators is being gathered and shared.  The Social Committee reported on the Winter Social, and is making plans for the Spring Social in March. The quest to install a new welcome sing has been suspended due to complications with public liability and licensed contractor requirements.  A Member Meeting will be planned for the spring, and new activity ideas are being explored.

BBECA Winter Social – January 25, 2024
Thanks to the 55 people who attended the BBECA Winter Social. Also a big thank you to Social Chair Jeanne Richbourg and all of the helpers who put together an enjoyable evening.

Member Meeting – December 9, 2023
A guest speaker from FIRM shared information on wind and flood insurance.  Jane Tiedeman presented a proposal to install a new welcome sign on West Indies.  Following discussion, the membership voted to approve a cost of $2350 for the sign, structure and lighting.  Mangroves in the main canal were trimmed in 2023 at the cost of $9750.  Channel markers were repaired and improved at a cost of $3926.  The Water Quality Committee reported on ongoing testing activities, and reminded the group that all results are available to all on the website.  More volunteers are needed to assist with water testing. The Social Committee got membership input on changing up the plans for the Winter Social.  The President and Vice President positions will be vacant in 2024.  A discussion was held on what will happen to BBECA if the positions are not filled - dues will be collected, social events can continue, and the water quality committee efforts will continue.  Action on specific issues will need to be committee or member driven.  Bill Murchie volunteered and was approved as the new President.

Board Meeting – October 23, 2023
     Plans were discussed to install a new community welcome sign on West Indies. The Board approved an expense of up to $500 to pay for a professional design.  Jane Tiedeman will prepare a proposal to present at the December Member Meeting. The Water Quality Committee continues to work with FIU on a sea level rise project; provide info on aeration systems; conduct water testing for DO and nutrients.  The Social Committee is planning a Fall Social on November 11.  A newsletter will be prepared for distribution to all houses in January. A speaker from FIRM will be invited to the December Member Meeting.
     Officers for 2024 were discussed. The President and Vice President positions will be vacant. Corrine Shearer will be Secretary, Sherri Harper will be Treasurer.  If a President is not identified, the association will continue but in a diminished manner.  Dues will be collected, social events can continue, and the water quality committee efforts will continue.  Action on specific issues will need to be committee or member driven.

Board Meeting – April 10, 2023
The mangrove trimming on the main canal was completed in March at a cost of $9750. Contributions in the amount of $9200 were collected from homeowners. Three new channel markers were erected and 2 were repaired at a cost of $3900.  The “Follow the Rules” Committee will be designing and getting bids to replace the BBECA entrance sign, and has prepared information on rental rules that will be posted on the website and sent out through a member email and Facebook. An email will be sent in the early fall seeking BBECA volunteers including a new President - without new leadership, the association will go into inactive status.

BBECA Social – March 19, 2023
Thanks to the 60+ people who braved the elements and attended the BBECA Spring Social. A very special thank-you to our hosts Bob & Gloria Pienkowski, and to our grillmasters Steve Weeks and Don Tiedeman. Also, a big thank you to Social Chair Jeanne Richbourg and all of the helpers without whom our social would not have been as social or successful.

Member Meeting – February 25, 2023
Member renewal/recruitment efforts continue. Mangrove trimming on the main canal will take place February 28 – March 2. In December, BBECA approved replacing two channel markers. A proposal was presented to approve funding of $1200 to add one more piling/marker – motion passed. Water quality information is available on the website and oxygen levels have been consistent over the past 4 years.  BBECA is also participating in monitoring sea level rise and nutrient testing. The spring social will be held on March 19 and info is available on the website. The Rules Committee shared information about rentals within BBE. Vacation rentals less than 28 days are not allowed. There are only short-term rentals of less than 6 months and 1 day or long-term rentals of over 6 months and 1 day. Tax must be collected for short and long term rentals. The committee will be proposing strategies to address this issue. Concern was voiced about dead palm fronds at entrance and seven members volunteered to help with clean-up effort. The President and Vice President position will be open in 2024 and new leadership is needed to keep the association in active status.

Member Meeting – December 3, 2022
   Monroe County Sheriff’s Officer representatives shared information on Trama Star, crime trends and safety tips. The mangrove trimming permit has been renewed. Two bids were requested and main canal trimming is scheduled for February 28 – March 2. A motion was made to approve $10,440 for trimming. Motion passed.  Side canal property owners interested in participating in the contract price can contact Paul Gerson. Canal marker #7 is missing and #4 is leaning.  We are on the Coffin list for replacement/repair.  A motion was made to approve up to $2500 for the repairs.  Motion passed.
   The Water Quality Committee is coordinating with FIU for sea level rise testing and with Looe Key to install cameras. They are conducting monthly dissolved O2 testing and need more volunteers. Rick Richbourg is coordinating nutrient testing and also needs volunteers. Residents are asked to notify the committee if installing aeration.  
   The President position will be open in 2024 and new volunteers are needed to step into leadership roles on the Board. Jeanne Richbourg has agreed to serve as Social Chair and she is working on plans for the Jan 26 Winter Social at Boondocks.  Concerns were shared about renters disregarding rules and laws. Jane Tiedeman, Deb Wahl and Joe Primavera volunteered to serve on a special committee to propose strategies to the Board.

Board Meeting – October 20, 2022
DEP has re-upped permit and is talking with Looe Key about a donation. One trimming bid is in hand and a second bid will be procured. Trimming is planned for Feb or March. A vote will be taken at the Dec member meeting to authorize the payout for the trimming. The Water Quality Committee continues to do dissolved oxygen testing and nutrient testing. Fall Social will be held November 12. Channel piling #7 was downed over the summer, and #4 is leaning. We are on the Coffin list for replacement/repair and a vote will be taken at the Dec meeting to authorize the expense. Discussion about other action needed in channel in response to comments widening the channel. Consensus that dredging or widening the channel is not realistic. The sign was posted about staying in the middle and a reminder will included in the newsletter. The Member Meeting will be held December 3. Officer were elected for 2023.

Board Meeting – April 14, 2022
The Board approved mailing a letter to non-member property owners educating them about mangrove trimming responsibilities and requesting a donation. Main canal trimming is planned for spring 2023. The Winter Social will be Jan 27 at Boondocks and the Spring Social will be April 2. The Water Quality Committee will meet in May and there are now 4 testers doing dissolved oxygen testing. Nutrient testing also ongoing. Committee members are working on the culvert flow analysis and with FIU on a sea level rise gauge.  Rick is communicating with the Canal Restoration Group to encourage aerator installation.

Board Meeting – January 13, 2022
Following approval at the December member meeting, the Board approved the purchase of Director & Officer liability insurance through Isaksen Insurance. In response to concerns raised about the rock ledge in the channel, contact was made with the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard will not alter the channel but did issue a notice to mariners. BBECA also posted a warning on the website and newsletter, and approved purchase of a warning sign for the interior entrance to the channel. Plans are in place for the January 27 Winter Social at Boondocks. A Member Meeting has been set for February 26, and the Spring Social will be April 2. The Water Quality Committee conducted dissolved oxygen testing on Jan 8 and canal-wide testing is planned for late February. Fundraising has begun toward the goal of trimming mangroves in the main canal in 2023. To promote awareness and education on mangrove issues, BBECA will mail a courtesy letter to property owners identified by members as having overgrown mangroves.

Member Meeting – December 4, 2021
    The Water Quality Committee reported on efforts to ensure that the canals meet Florida Standards. Best practices are promoted, and dissolved oxygen testing is being conducted - data is available on BBECA.org. Anecdotal evidence of the effect of aerators is available on the website under the Water Quality tab. Questions were raised about the flow through culvert on canal #16, and the committee will work to measure the flow.  The Florida Lake watch testing program that has resumed and water quality is returning to pre-Irma levels.
    Chris Rivett, Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe Board Member gave a presentation on the new FEMA Flood Risk Rating 2.0 rules. FEMA implemented Risk Rating 2.0 beginning Oct 1, 2021. FIRM estimates that homeowners could see substantial flood insurance rate increases under the new Risk Rating. Existing flood insurance policies will be switched to the new system beginning April 1, 2022, and it will be imperative that people provide an elevation certificate to their insurance company to obtain a discount. New owners should ask about inheriting the current flood insurance. Handouts were provided and will be posted on the website.
    The board proposed purchasing Directors & Officers insurance to cover the board members at an estimated annual cost of $750. A motion was made to approve and a second was received. The motion passed. The Board will get multiple bids and purchase the coverage.
    The board proposes trimming mangroves in the main canal in 2023. While the property owner is responsible for trimming to maintain safe navigation, BBECA has assisted in this goal on the main canal where there is a common interest. BBECA will begin fundraising for the Mangrove trimming in 2022 with the goal of trimming in 2023. In addition, the Board will look into the option for an individual to add their lot onto the BBECA contract, and contact the County about code enforcement.
    Concern was raised about the width of the channel and a rock edge protruding near marker #8. It was suggested that BBECA contact the Coast Guard to make them aware of this safety hazard and request assistance.

Board Meeting – October 6, 2021
The Water Quality Committee met in August with Rhonda Haig to learn about the Canal Restoration Program. The goal is to do another canal-wide testing soon. They were also contacted by Florida International University about participating in a study on king tides. The Board will resume Member Meetings and Socials. A Fall Social will be held November 13. A Member Meeting will be held December 4 with a speaker from Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe. The Board will propose for member vote purchasing Director & Officer Insurance to provide protection for Board members.  The Board will begin to fundraise in 2022 with a goal of trimming the main canal mangroves in 2023.

Board Meeting – April 21, 2021
During a virtual meeting, the Board reviewed member numbers that are tracking well even though we have not been able to meet during COVID.  The Water Quality Committee is testing for dissolved oxygen and nutrients.  Oxygen levels have improved. Test results, and information on aerator projects have been added to the website. The Committee will be evaluating the new county restoration project.  Tentative plans were made to hold a November Member Mixer and a December Member Meeting.

Board Meeting - January 23, 2021
New canal signs have been installed. Two Little Libraries are now available in the neighborhood.  Winter newsletters were distributed in January and membership renewals are coming in.  A Water Quality section has been added to the website.  Additional aerator resources, and a list of the types of aeration systems in the neighborhood are being prepared with plans to post on the website. A call is out for volunteers for the LakeWatch training session. Dissolved Oxygen testing continues, and multi-site testing will resume when COVID concerns calm down with the goal to assess the impacts of the culvert and aerators. Socials and member meetings are on hold until after COVID.  BBECA Officers will remain the same in 2021.

Board Meeting – October 10, 2020

During a virtual meeting, the Board reviewed the installation of two new channel pilings and day markers, and approved new signs to address no wake, one-way traffic in the channel, and fish carcass disposal.  A neighbor tip sheet was distributed in July, and the annual newsletter will be distributed in January.  The Water Quality Committee is working to identify two pilot canals where property owners will agree to install and maintain aerators so that impact on oxygen levels can be assessed. Due to COVID concerns, plans for a November social, December Member Meeting, and January Social have been put on hold. 

Board Meeting – April 25, 2020

During a virtual meeting, the Board looked ahead to the fall. Though spring events could not be held due to COVID-19, we hope to be back in fall with a mixer and member meeting featuring the guest speaker from Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM).  Membership numbers have surpassed last year. The Membership Committee is working to expand and update resident information for when new resident visits can resume. The Water Quality Committee continues to test water and develop a master plan to implement various strategies to improve water quality.

Board Meeting – February 12, 2020

Member recruitment efforts continue for 2020. The Water Quality Committee is increasing testing efforts and is developing a water quality plan. A Member Meeting will be held on March 21 with a guest speaker from Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM) who will discuss the new FEMA flood maps and impacts on homeowners. The Board will notify the IRS of its intent to operate as a section 501(c)(4) organization to come into compliance with a recently finalized regulation. The spring social will be held on April 4.

Winter Social – January 30, 2020

Nearly 80 people enjoyed an evening of fellowship and good food at Boondocks.

Board Meeting – December 18, 2019

Notes from the Home Security presentation at the December Member meeting have been posted on the website. Multiple calls have been made to the Sheriff’s Office and extra patrols are scheduled for the next several months. Plans are being finalized for the January 30 Winter Social at Boondocks.  Members will get a discounted price, and this year advance payment will be required. A newsletter will be printed in January 2020 and block captains will deliver to homes in the community. Dues reminders will be sent through the website, Facebook and NextDoor. A welcome packet is being developed to deliver to new residents.

Member Meeting - December 7, 2019

The meeting was called to order by BBECA president Corrine Shearer at 10 am.  After a brief overview of items to be discussed, Corrine introduced our guest speaker, Deputy Torres from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.  He provided useful information regarding home, vehicle and boat security.  His presentation included locks, lighting, alarm and video systems.  Our neighborhood is considered quite safe by law enforcement, but the suggestions given would only serve to enhance our sense of security

Committee updates:

  • Mangroves:  Paul Gerson advised that the trimming on the main canal was completed in April of this year at a cost of $9,700.  Our island wide permit remains in place for our homeowners to trim their individual properties.  There is an exception to the permit, as it does not cover open water properties.
  • The winter social will be held at Boondocks on Jan. 30th. Payment will be required in advance, and more details forthcoming upon the return of Barbara Weeks, Social Chair.
  • Corrine advised that the final membership total for 2019 stood at 110, a 25 percent improvement over the previous year.  Efforts will continue via the block captain system, newsletter, and a welcome package.
  • Rick Harty provided an update on data collection pertaining to water quality. The oxygen levels in our canal system have been in decline in recent years and the water quality committee is exploring possible projects including aeration, culvert maintenance, etc.  

New Business: Corrine advised that the BBECA board is recommending a dues increase to $50.00 (family) and $25.00 (individual).  Our dues have not been raised in ten years and prices for social events, mangrove trimming, and channel maintenance have risen. After much amicable discussion, the membership voted unanimously to approve the increase.

Traffic issue: speeding continues to be a major concern among our residents. Two possible approaches, speed bumps or increased enforcement emerged from the group discussion, with the membership voting to pursue the enforcement route at this time.

Fall Social – November 16, 2019

A good time was had by more than 50 neighbors attending the Fall “Meet & Greet” Social.  The group enjoyed a beautiful evening and delicious appetizers. It was great to see many “old” and “new” faces from the neighborhood. Thanks to Waterfront Brewery for donating the beer.  Thanks also to our raffle winner who donated his winnings back to the Association.

Board Meeting – October 10, 2019

Plans for the coming year were confirmed. A Fall “Meet & Greet” Social on November 16. A Member Meeting will be held on December 7 with discussion on security, speeding, water quality and 2020 dues. Additional Social events and a second Member meeting will be held in 2020.

Continuing priorities include increasing membership and replacing two channel pilings. A “Welcome to the Neighborhood” letter has been posted to the website, and all members are encouraged to welcome new neighbors and deliver a copy of the letter. Additional volunteers are needed to assist with water quality testing and distribution of the January hard copy newsletter.

Volunteer to be a BBECA Block Captain - September 2019

We are looking for a small group of members to support the neighborhood by serving as block captains. Responsibilities will be to:

  • Welcome new residents on your street and encourage them to join the association. Check out the “Welcome Letter” on the BBECA homepage.
  • Provide the BBECA Membership Chair with the names and street address of new residents for follow-up by the Board
  • Distribute BBECA newsletters to houses on your street (generally 1-2 times per year)
  • Forward questions and issues from residents to the BBECA Board
  • If you are no longer able to serve as block captain, identify a willing individual to take your place

If you are willing to help, please contact Corrine at [email protected]

May 15, 2019: New Leash Regulation for Pets
Please be aware of the new leash regulation for pets per the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce (LKCC) newsletter May 15, 2019:

There is now a new regulation for pet owners. "Effective Voice Command" is no longer an acceptable means of control for an animal in a public place since this method has failed in several situations, resulting in actual or potential injury to the unleashed animal, other animals or people. The regulation now requires a physically capable person to be in control of an animal by means of a leash, or for the animal to be enclosed by a secure fence or other means of confinement. This does not apply to cats. The County's animal control contractors throughout the Keys approved the changes to the ordinance. The law applies county-wide and within municipalities, if there is no conflict with an existing municipalities ordinance.

Board Meeting – May 9, 2019
Achievements of the past year were reviewed.  Significant resources were spent for several big projects.  New channel markers were installed, and piling repair is scheduled. The mangroves were trimmed in the main canal.  The welcome sign at the entrance was replaced after being destroyed in an auto accident.  Two socials and two membership meeting were held.  A push to increase membership resulted in a 24% increase in membership over the previous year.

Additional member recruitment efforts are planned for the coming year.  Three socials and two membership meetings will be held.  Long term association finances were discussed, and a dues increase will be proposed at a membership meeting tentatively set for December. A fall social will be held on November 16.

Spring Social – March 28, 2019
Approximately 50 members and potential members enjoyed a mixer of appetizers and beverages.

Completion of Mangrove Trimming - March 24, 2019
BBECA is pleased to announce that the navigational trimming has been completed on the main Breezeswept Beach Estates Canal at a cost of $9700. We wish to thank Radim Havlicek Tree Service who completed the work, and then donated $1400 in labor/machinery time to the project. We also wish to acknowledge the Looe Key Resort for their donation of $500 and use of their ramp/property to stage the cuttings.

As the trimming benefits all residents of Breezeswept Beach Estates and needs to be done periodically to keep the canal safe for navigation, we welcome individual contributions to rebuild the BBECA account. To contribute, go to Membership Application and print out the form. Mark your contribution for "Mangrove Trimming" and mail with your check as directed on the form. We thank you in advance.

We continue to encourage our members on all side canals to trim their property to allow for the safe passage of boats. The permit for this remains active and can be viewed here

Board Meeting – February 28, 2019
Mangrove trimming on the main canal is scheduled to start the week of March 18. The spring social will be held on March 28 from 4:00 – 6:00.  Social details to be confirmed and will be sent to members via the BBECA website and the Facebook group. Fran Crucet volunteered to serve as Membership Chair. Long term financial planning will be discussed at the next meeting.

BBECA Member Meeting - February 16, 2019

Approximately 45 people attended the General Member Meeting. The Board reported that hard copies of the newsletter were distributed throughout the neighborhood in January and there are currently 89 members. Members are encouraged to share information about the association and distribute membership forms to neighbors. The installation of two new pilings (replace #8 and add #11) has been approved and work is on order with Coffin Marine. Following review of three bids, the members approved contracting with Radim Havlicek Tree Service to trim the mangroves in the main canal.  Work is expected to begin in late March. Planning is underway for the Spring Social which will be held no later than the first week in April. Five people have been trained through the University of Florida Community Outreach program and have begun testing the water in the canals. Open position on the Board include Vice President, Membership Chair and Navigation Chair.

Winter Social – January 24, 2019

More than 80 members enjoyed an evening of good food and visiting at Boondocks. Thanks to Social Committee members Barb Weeks, Stv Dalpias and June Crumley.


Board Meeting – January 10, 2019

BBECA is on the list with Coffin Marine to replace channel piling #8 and install a new #11. An updated permit is in process for trimming mangroves in the main canal, and three bids have been requested. A visit is planned to Looe Key Tiki to ask for a contribution to the project, and an offer will also be extended for individuals to contract directly for trimming on side canals. The County Commissioners have approved plans to put a tiny home on the “stairway to heaven” lot near the entrance so a new location will need to be found for the “Welcome” sign.  Training for Water Quality testing is set for January 12 and there are 6 volunteers. Final plans were discussed for the January 24 Winter Social. Electronic notices have been sent with a reminder to pay 2019 dues, and newsletter are being delivered to every home.  The next Member Meeting will be held February 16. There are open positions for Membership, Navigation and Website Administrator.

BBECA Member Meeting – December 8, 2018
About 50 members attended the meeting hosted by Tom and Lore Steifel.
The Board reported on the installation of new channel markers – thanks to John Baker, Jeff Kelly, Bobby Howard, Mike Shearer, and Bob Marvin. Pole #8 is cracked and a new pole #11 was proposed.  The members approved spending up to $1300 per pole for two new pilings. The welcome sign was damaged by a drunk driver.  A check has been received for $800 from the driver’s insurance to replace it.   The Winter Social will be held at Boondocks on January 24th.  The Board plans to trim mangroves in the main canal in 2019. Three bids will be sought with more discussion at an upcoming meeting.  A training session is being planned for volunteers to do monthly water sampling.

Board Meeting – November 8, 2018

Channel markers need to be repaired.  A plan was put into place to purchase and install triangle and square safety markers for the ten poles, a No Wake sign and two One Way signs.  One piling is cracked and a repair estimate will be requested. Mangroves in the main canal were trimmed last in 2014 at a total cost of about $7000, and generally need done every 6 years. Following discussion, a goal was set to trim the main canal in 2019 as it is used by all members. The Board will get three bids, talk with commercial operators who use the canal, and file necessarily paperwork with the state.  The Cooperative Extension Service has been contacted regarding a water testing training sessions and volunteers will be contacted to assess interest. Information will be shared with members about resources and actions that members can take if they are concerned about lingering health and safety concerns following Irma. The Board will bring back Member Meetings with the next meeting set for December 8. Planning was started for the Winter Social in late January. Dues for 2019 will remain at $40 per family/$20 per individual.  Emails will be sent to members and a hard copy newsletter will be distributed to each home.

Spring Social Meeting – April 14, 2018
There was a very good turn-out at the social and everyone seemed to enjoy getting together after the difficult season recovering from the hurricane.  Speeding and clean up after pets remain problematic. Various solutions were discussed. Within the next few weeks, members who have not paid 2018 dues will be deleted from the website directory.

Board Reorganizational Meeting – March 28,2018
The Board of the Breezeswept Beach Estates Civic Association met to reorganize following Hurricane Irma. Volunteer positions were reviewed with openings Social Chair, Newsletter, and Membership. The meeting centered around planning for the Spring Social and addressing community concerns.