Posted April 9, 2020
ENGLEWOOD — The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t slowed the restoration of Manasota Key’s critically eroded shoreline.
The sand renourishment of the Gulf shoreline along the Charlotte County portion of Manasota Key is complete. Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, the contractor, has now begun restoring beach sand along the Sarasota County portion of Manasota Key from just north of Blind Pass Beach south to the Sarasota-Charlotte county line on Manasota Key.
Damian Ochab, South Manasota/Sandpiper Key Association president, said many Manasota Key residents are telling him they never envisioned how “wonderful and beautiful” the shoreline would be. Even those who were indifferent about the dredging project are now thankful for it, Ochab said.
The closing of Englewood Beach may have been an advantage to Great Lakes crews when they extended piping along that stretch of shoreline. They didn’t have to navigate around beach-goers.
They are also under a drop-dead deadline to finish up this month.
According to permitting requirements, the project must be completed on Manasota Key before May 1, the official start of the local sea turtle nesting season. Great Lakes crews are tilling the freshly dredged sand so that it will be loose enough for the loggerhead and other sea turtles to dig and cover their nests.
Charlotte County, however, is permitted to restore the shorelines of beaches south of Stump Pass, along the Gulf shorelines of Knight and Don Pedro islands, after May 1.
Once Manasota Key is completed, restoration of the Knight and Don Pedro islands are expected to see 313,000 cubic yards of new sand along its shoreline.
Palm Island Resort will see its shoreline renourished during the next maintenance dredging of Stump Pass. The timing of the maintenance dredging will be reassessed later this year.
The new beach is much wider — 84 feet to the Gulf — so that a 50-foot shoreline can be maintained for eight years — barring any significant storms or other events and as well as anticipating natural cycles of shifting sand and erosion. Besides widening the beach, the elevation of the beach was raised 3 or 4 feet higher than the original shoreline profile.
For more information, visit Project Status on www.charlottecountyfl.gov.