Posted October 15, 2020
Charlotte County Public Works Director John Elias, left, and Coastal Engineering Consultants president Michael Poff join Charlotte coastal projects manager Matthew Logan, center, who received accolades Tuesday from the Florida Shore and Beach Association for his work on the Manasota Key beach restoration project.
MURDOCK — The work of Charlotte and Sarasota counties’ staff to shepherd the restoration of Gulf beaches on Manasota Key was not overlooked.
The Florida Shore and Beach Association awarded its Public Service Award to Charlotte County project manager Matthew Logan. It was presented Tuesday at the outset of the Charlotte County Commission meeting.
“Matt’s tireless efforts and perseverance were critical in this project even coming to fruition much less the success that it was,” Public Works Director John Elias said.
Sarasota County Environmental Protection Division manager Rachel Hermann and environmental project coordinator Joseph Kraus shared in the accolades with Logan. The association itself is made up of municipal and other governmental representatives, engineers and other stakeholders concern with beach maintenance and coastline issues.
“I am honored that Coastal Engineering Consultants (CEC) nominated the project team to receive this special award,” Logan said Tuesday. “The Charlotte County and Sarasota County representatives worked closely with CEC and Great Lakes Dredge and Dock to complete this complicated project. This was a truly great example of teamwork.”
The trio were recognized for working on the beach restoration of Manasota Key from north of Blind Pass Park in Sarasota County south to Stump Pass Beach State Park in Charlotte County. The $30 million project brought 50 linear yards of new beach along the Gulf shoreline. Charlotte County also added sand to the Knight and Don Pedro Island shoreline south of Stump Pass.
“The team persevered through every challenge thrown at them from navigating a compressed timeline, to negotiating easements, to executing a complex construction project during a pandemic,” Coastal Engineering Consultants president Michael Poff told the association.
“It’s the first time the (association) has done a group award like this,” Poff told Charlotte commissioners Tuesday.
Poff presented the commissioners a decorative jars of sand taken from the first batch of sand dredged up from Gulf and placed on the beach.
“You paid for it,” Poff quipped as he handed out the sand jars.
Commissioner Joseph Tiseo quipped back, “For the price that we paid for the sand, is this under the ($100) for the gift disclosure?”
Rock by rock
The job is not done yet.
More than 880,000 cubic yards of sand was added along four linear miles of Manasota Key, but there’s more work to be done.
As part of its permitting requirements, permitting required Charlotte County to construct an artificial hard-bottom reef to replace a stretch of natural areas of bare rocky bottom covered with sand from the nourishment project.
The state considers those bare hard rock bottoms as valuable aquatic habitats.
Contractors began work on 3.9 acres of mitigation reef, just north of Englewood Beach. An excavator is dropping 16,500 rocks off a barge, one by one, to create the reef, Poff said. Already the reef is attracting fish and anglers in kayaks, Poff said.
“About one-third of the reef is completed,” Poff said. Due to delays caused by recent storms and other factors, he said, “They will be completed in February or March.”
More information about the beach project can be found under “Project Status” on the county’s website at www.charlottecountyfl.gov.