Posted March 26, 2020
ENGLEWOOD — “Every cloud has a silver lining” is a cliche coming true on Englewood Beach.
As an act to prevent the spread of the coronavirus — and much to the dismay of beach lovers — Charlotte County, like other Florida counties, closed Englewood Beach and other public beaches Sunday.
But with the public beach closed, the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company crews can work this week undisturbed and not worry about disrupting the public.
Earlier this month, Great Lakes started dredging up sand offshore from Manasota Key and depositing along the barrier island’s eroded Gulf shoreline. Workers started near the Sarasota-Charlotte county line and began working their way south to the Wanna B Inn and the entrance of the Stump Pass Beach State Park. Crews then will turn their attention to Sarasota County, restoring eroded shorelines.
Manasota Key is expected to receive 275,000 cubic yards of fresh sand.
State permits requires the Manasota Key dredging project — on both sides of the county line — to be completed before May 1, the start of the local sea turtle nesting season. Charlotte County, however, is permitted to restore the shorelines of beaches south of Stump Pass, at the Palm Island Resort, Knight and Don Pedro islands, after May 1.
Separately, Charlotte County is required by permitting agencies to replaced exposed hard rock bottom habitat that will be covered over by sand near to Manasota Key’s shoreline. The state designates hard rock bottoms as valuable habitats.
Plans call for the creation of two artificial rocky areas — a 4.9-acre elongated hard bottom, and a smaller 1.1-acre site — that will mimic hard bottoms in the Gulf. The rocky areas will be no more than a quarter of a mile offshore and well outside of the active zone of sediment transport along Manasota Key.
Details of the Manasota Beach Renourishment project can be found under “Project Status” at www.charlottecountyfl.gov.