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Longboat plans to bolster north-end beach

Town of Longboat Key Commissioners in 2018 directed town staff and Olsen Associates, the town’s beach engineering firm, to progress forward with the permitting of five groins at the north end of the island. The commission decided, temporarily at least, to only build four. The reason for the contingency plan on the fifth groin is because the town has to approach Manatee County to determine if they would be willing to allow the fifth groin on the north end of Greer Island, which it owns.

Parts of the discussion included what type of groins would be put in place (rock groins), what effects on the beach the groins would have, and the placement of the groins (three groins north of the currently existing two permeable groins at the North Shore Road beach access, and two groins south of the existing permeable groins).

The permit the town is seeking will also include an interim beach renourishment with a truck-sand haul to be placed between the two existing permeable adjustable groins at the North Shore Road beach access. This area is severely eroded and condominium owners at 360 North and Longbeach Condominiums are concerned because their buildings are in jeopardy should a storm event occur.

Browder pointed out that there are no condominiums in the area of the third northernmost groin, it’s a lagoon and a recreational amenity. He did inform the commission that by adding the third groin it stabilizes the beach south of the groin and decreases the size of the spit of land north of the groin where Greer Island beach goes under the bridge at Longboat Pass. This spit of land was one of the discussion points as the commission was unsure of how much this piece of land needed to be saved, since it had grown in recent years, almost cutting off the water and making an enclosed lagoon.

Town Manager Tom Harmer stepped in and addressed the issue with Manatee County.

“Manatee County has expressed an interest in writing that they support the two groin approach and want a ‘wait and see’ approach on the third groin. They want to have a more natural approach to see what happens in the northern portion of the Greer Island instead of maintaining its current condition,” said Harmer.

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