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County agrees to help Lido Beach project

The City of Sarasota and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asked Sarasota County if it can use Ted Sperling Park on South Lido Key as a staging area for when it dredges Big Pass in the coming months.

Four of five county commissioners agreed so long as protection is put in place for any damage to the park or shoreline.

The City has been fighting for the project to help buttress the highly eroded Lido Key shoreline. Opposition has been continuous from Siesta Key residents and the non-profit, Save Our Siesta Sand II, fear that the dredging of Big Pass could have a detrimental effect on the Siesta Key shoreline.

Despite numerous challenges, a permit has been issued for the project and most of the courthouse arguments have been exhausted. The use of Ted Sperling Park will save up to one million dollars in project cost.

City Engineer Alexandrea Davis Shaw said that the Federal Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has extremely strict requirements for monitoring the shoreline.

The first phase of the plan is to dredge up to 1.3 million cubic yards and place it on the South Lido Key shoreline.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has said it used extensive modeling to determine that no harm will come to Siesta Key or Big Pass as a result of the project.

The Corps plans to install two groins on south Lido Key to help anchor sand in addition to the dredging.

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