LIDO BEACH- Sarasota is set to receive over $13 million dollars to help mitigate erosion on Lido Key. This comes just weeks after the city declared a state of emergency due to the erosion on the beaches.
This dredging project has been talked about for a long time, and now that the funding is in place, residents on Lido Key are turning the focus to who is getting the new sand.
Lido Shores Resident Bob Thill says sand coming and going is part of life on a barrier island, but erosion keeps getting worse.
“Right now we’re in a period over just the last few months and this is before Alberto itself,” Thill said. “Where the water is simply coming in and scouring our dunes.”
The $13.5 million dollars in federal funds will allow the city to start a long term project to dredge sand from Big Pass to rebuild parts of Lido Beach. The projected total cost of the project is $20 to $22 million.
City Manager Tom Barwin said in a statement:
“This is really good news, especially considering the dire condition of portions of the Lido Beach shoreline right now. With federal funding in place, we’ll be able to proceed with the long-term shoreline protection project in the near future. Monitoring will be a significant aspect as well as having a thoughtful approach to maintain all of Sarasota County’s shorelines over the coming decades. Many thanks to former Mayors Shelli Freeland Eddie and Willie Shaw for their effective advocacy in Washington D.C. and Tallahassee and the entire Florida delegation for their resolve to protect the shoreline and the City’s infrastructure. And, a huge thank you to City Engineer Alex Davis Shaw for her professional guidance with this complex project over many years as she worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to move the City away from crisis to crisis management to proactive planning with shoreline protection and renourishment.”
Bob Thill says one of those portions is North Lido Key.
“We’ve been in talks with the city both with the engineering department as well as with the city manager,” Thill said. “We feel that we’re making some strides, but once again we want to be part of that entire conversation, this severe erosion is very dramatic and it’s effecting all of Lido Key, we empathize with the folks in the south, but also it’s effecting us here in the North so we look forward to the possibility of getting some sand.”
Thill says it’s not clear if north lido will get any sand from the dredging, but they were included in the state of emergency.
A short-term relief project is also in the works, and the city hopes to have new sand on lido protecting the shoreline by the fall.