Longboat Pass plans face opposition
With the new Longboat Pass inlet management plan, Longboat Key, Manatee County and the West Coast Inlet Navigation District are all now facing opposition from Siesta Key residents about the plan to manage erosion of Beer Can Island and slow the drift of Longboat Pass.
The Siesta Key Association has contacted Manatee County Commissioner Joe McClash to help it in its mission to stop the plans, which will include groins and dredging which they claim will cause erosion problems south of Longboat Key.
The Siesta residents say that the three groins in the Longboat Key Inlet Management plan may alter the flow of Big Pass and could therefore possibly accelerate erosion of Lido and Siesta beaches.
The West Coast Inland Navigation District, which helps plan waterway projects, approved and endorsed the plan. It’s also backed by research conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Coastal Planning & Engineering Inc.
Another concern for the Siesta Key Association is that an approval could fast track plans being bandied about by the City of Sarasota and the Corps of Engineers for Lido renourishment.
Big Pass and New Pass are the two inlets that are currently being considered for dredging, which could potentially increase negative consequences for Siesta Key.
Plan for Longboat Pass in application phase
Longboat Key has submitted a plan for a groin and a dredging project which was approved by the Manatee County Commission as part of their 5-year Inlet Management Plan. The West Coast Inlet Navigational District (WCIND) also applied for a permit to use something known as the ‘sand trap’ process.
The sand traps are areas in the bay that collect sand that comes from the beaches along the gulf. The permit, if granted, would allow the sand to be taken from permitted locations and returned to the beaches where it originated. WCIND submitted the less intrusive plan earlier this year. The two applications are not related. The Army Corps of Engineers can approve both, deny one and approve the other, or deny both.
Public comment on the WCIND sand trap plan has been extended to May 13. Public comment on the Inlet Management Plan is open until May 16. Those who want to enter public comments can email Mark.E.Peterson@usace.army.mil, fax 813.769.7061, mail to Jacksonville District Corps of Engineers, 10117 Princess Palm Ave., St. 120, Tampa, FL, 33610; or comment by phone at 813-769-7065.