Sarasota Key, Lido Key at odds over dredging sand project

Some people living on Lido Key worry the erosion problem on their beaches may soon endanger some structures.

The Army Corps of Engineers suggests dredging Big Pass between Lido Key and Siesta Key. The $22 million project would use 1.1 million cubic yards of sand from the shoal in Big Pass to renourish Lido Beach, build a 5-foot berm, add concrete groins on the north and south ends and then continue dredging every five years for 50 years. The Corps says Siesta Key would not be harmed.

Save Our Siesta Sands 2 is a group that says dredging Big Pass puts Siesta Beach at risk. This risk is large to the businesses that are along the beach which was named the country’s number one beach in 2011 by Dr. Beach.

According to the Army Corp of Engineers, Project Manager Milan Mora, dredging offshore is not an option because the sand needed is too far out and not compatible. Mora says dredging New Pass on the north end of Lido Key provides about 300 cubic yards of sand. Not enough sand for Lido Key, plus that sand has already been allocated for other projects.

Lido residents remember the Corps dredging off Longboat Key north of Lido Key about 15 years ago. Don Shirey has been visiting Lido Key since 1983 and says the sand used off Longboat Key isn’t the same white sand native to Lido Key.


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