Monday, February 20, 2017

SOSS2 has had a singular focus since our founding.

Our mission statement is to ensure no harm comes to our environment including Siesta Key beaches, waterfront property and navigation in Big Pass as well as the diverse ecology of the area. And once we defeat this current proposal with your help, any unspent funds will be held in perpetuity to defeat any subsequent attempt to harm our environment by dredging the Big Pass shoal.

Mr. Barwin, Sarasota’s City Administrator,  has been telling the media that we will not talk to him. We have been talking to Mr. Barwin and/or his staff since early 2013. The meetings became more frequent in 2015 and 2016. While our reasons are different, one area that we agree upon is the need for a Plan B that does not involve taking sand from the Big Pass shoal - a plan similar to the previous thirteen renourishments of Lido Key Beach.

We have made excellent progress building our war chest due to our many donors who understand the existential threat to Siesta Key by dredging Big Pass shoal. If you have not donated recently, please do so as we are still about $85,000-100,000 short of what we will need to call a full range of witnesses and have sufficient expert testimony. Please contribute your share as some people on limited retirement incomes have extended themselves to their very limits to stop this dredge. We can win, but funds are needed now as our lawyers detail their final plans.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The City/ACOE Project to dredge Big Pass and place groins on Lido Key is to be permitted later this month.

Please send your tax-free donation to Save Our Siesta Sand today! Why is this important? We have lawyers working at the state level to stop this project and then, if needed at the federal level with Florida Wildlife Federation. Lawyers are expensive but without them we have no ability to stop this dredging project. Please donate generously via check or online at www.soss2.com/donate

The City/ACOE Project to dredge Big Pass and place groins on Lido Key is to be permitted later this month. What does that mean to you as a property owner or even as a renter? It means that dredges will be stationed off our beaches pumping sand 24 hours a day, seven days a week for months at a time. As you undoubtedly know this will not be a quiet operation. That is not the worst part of this plan. Right now, most of our beaches are wide and stable. Once they remove major portions of our shoal, no one knows what will happen. The Atkins peer review requested by the County indicated that they cannot support the ACOE claims of no harm to our beaches and shorelines. Several previous studies have said that it could drastically affect our beaches. Common sense says if you remove sand that is between your property and the water, whatever happens is not very likely to be good.

P.S. Save Our Siesta Sand is committed to take legal action. We need your tax-free donations now to challenge this dredge.  When you are considering the amount of your contribution, think about the current value of your property and what that value would be if your beach is destroyed. We need your generous gift today before the tax year ends. Next year may be too late. www.soss2.com/donate

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Siesta Key Association Holiday Meeting

When: Thursday Dec. 1, 2016 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Where: The Community Center of St. Boniface Episcopal Church, located at 5615 Midnight Pass Rd. 34242

Details: Professor of Earth and Environmental Science at Florida International University, Stephen Leatherman, also known as "Dr. Beach", will offer comments regarding the proposed Big Sarasota Pass dredging and the loss of seagrass to the Pass.  He will also discuss what it would take to rename Siesta Beach #1 again.

For more information on Dr. Beach and this week's meeting, please CLICK HERE.

Save Our Siesta Sand Lido Key Nourishment Public Meeting

Save Our Siesta Sand 
Lido Key Nourishment Public Meeting

When: Wednesday Nov. 30, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Fire Station No. 2 - located at 2070 Waldemere St., Sarasota, FL 34239

Details: The Lido Beach Nourishment meeting is a public meeting open to all interested parties.  The meeting will provide an overview of the proposed project and an opportunity for the public to learn more information about specific components of the project, including engineering analysis, resource impacts and mitigation, fish and wildlife analysis and permitting and proprietary criteria.  (Note:each project component will be housed at individual stations to allow for discussions with the experts.)

For more information on the meeting and SOSS, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Save our Siesta Sand

On November 2nd, 2015 Save our Siesta Sand requested that the State of Florida hold a public hearing on the request for easements for the Lido Key project. This public hearing has never been held. Instead a year later the State has scheduled a meeting which does not satisfy our request for a public hearing. Here is their description:
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Event Title: Lido Key Nourishment Public Meeting
Location: Fire Station No. 2, 2070 Waldemere Street, Sarasota, FL 34239
Date: Nov 30 2016
Time: 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Event Details: The Lido Key Nourishment meeting is a public meeting open to all interested parties. The meeting will provide an overview of the proposed project and an opportunity for the public to learn more information about specific components of the project, including engineering analysis, resource impacts and mitigation, fish and wildlife analysis, and permitting and proprietary criteria. Each project component will be housed at individual stations to allow for discussions with the experts.
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Aside from the fact this is not a public hearing, there are several concerns with this format vs. a panel. First, there may not be sufficient time for questions and answers after the presentation. Secondly, the questions and answers cannot be heard by all those at the meeting. Nonetheless, I urge you to attend if you are in town as we all may learn something new. Parking is limited so be there early.

Here is the permit status.  The DEP has until December 27th to issue their ruling which will be either to issue an intent to deny or an intent to permit. Given all the signs it does not take a rocket scientist to determine their choice. SOSS2 then has 14 days to file our suit and we need your help now to do that. Please go to www.soss2.com to show your support with your generous tax free donation.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Army Corps has responded to the FDEP’s second request for additional information (RAI #2).


There are numerous problems with the response to RAI#2.  For example, they do not have permission to use the County’s Ted Sperling parking lot for a staging area and they have not produced an Environmental Impact Statement which is in violation of NEPA’s rules. The FDEP has 30 days to either accept the response or request additional information which would become RAI #3.  If FDEP accept the answers they have up to 60 days to issue the Intent to Permit.

Our Giving Challenge starts next month at noon on September 20th and runs for a 24 hour period.  Every donation up to $100 will be doubled by the Community Foundation and the Patterson Foundation.


Please mark September 20th on your calendar. We will send a Newsletter shortly before the Giving Challenge begins reminding you of this and providing the participation details. We need to raise thousands of dollars to sustain our lawsuit and this is a perfect way to do it. More next month when you will have a chance to be the one that makes a difference by contributing to the Giving Challenge!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Staging area for the Turtle Beach renourishment.


This is just a quick heads up to the residents on north Siesta Key that they will be seeing the dredges R.N. Weeks and B.E. Lindholm anchored southwest of Bird Key starting about February 15th. This has nothing to do with a dredge of Big Pass. It is a staging area for the Turtle Beach renourishment. Dredge pipeline will be assembled there and then moved offshore of Turtle Beach where renourishment will start around March 1st. The sand for the Turtle Beach renourishment will be coming from three sites approximately 10 miles offshore. You also need to know that the operation will run 24 hours a day and 7 days a week for about a month and a half. Anyone living near the discharge pipe lines will know the renourishment is in progress.

However, if the Army Corps receive permits to dredge the Big Pass Shoal the dredges will be extremely close to our shores. The dredges which are anything but quiet, would be running 24/7 for months. And this would not just be a one-time event. Another concern is what this will do to our beaches. When the ebb shoal off Longboat Key was dredged, wave heights increased on the beaches and those impacts are still being felt today. We should expect the same problem here. And do not forget the effect on navigation. When these channels are dredged and trenches are dug, the end result will be similar to what occurred in New Pass.  Sand will settle in the channel and boats with drafts over 2.5 feet will be unable to transit. This will cause more boat traffic on the Intracoastal using Venice Inlet or the northwest channel which in turn will cause more bridge openings and therefore more automobile traffic problems on Siesta Key.  This is why the Save our Siesta Sand Board, advisors and lawyers are working to prevent this disaster from happening in the Big Pass Shoal.

The Army Corps has not yet provided their answers to the second request for additional information requested by Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) but they will do so shortly. If FDEP accepts the current answers, they will start the process to issue the permits. If FDEP has further questions within their purview, they will ask the Army Corps again for more information, but in the end the permits will be issued. As more information becomes available we will keep you posted.

Please provide your comments to the decision makers via our petition, and consider donating to help us cover our expenses for lawyers and educational material.


Visit the Siesta Key Chamber Website: http://www.siestakeychamber.com/home