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.

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