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Dredging project approved to deal with sand piling up along John’s Pass

Posted on June 22, 2022

After years of frustration and government red tape, $1.5 million is on the way to fix the sand problem at John’s Pass.

Captain Dylan Hubbard has been fighting this sand for decades, and is excited to hear the money was approved by the Legislature and governor to dredge the sand away.

The project had been tied up in government red tape for years with finger-pointing between the city of Madeira Beach, the county, and the Army Corps of Engineers.

State Rep. Linda Chaney (R-Pinellas) pushed this through.

“It had to be done and the fact that this came through in the first try after so many years of gridlock, we were just beyond thrilled,” Chaney told FOX 13.

The problem has hurt businesses, caused flooding problems, and the biggest issue – unsuspecting tourists think it’s a beach area, but when they step off the sandbar, the currents can be deadly.

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In May, a young man died in the fast-moving waters. Three others had to be rescued.

“In my opinion, it’s caused the death of that individual who passed away from drowning,” Hubbard said. “It caused a little girl to get swept off shore and I had to go rescue her – I also rescued a nonverbal autistic boy, too, a few years ago.”

The earliest the dredging could start would be the fall. Even still, scientists have said the sand will make a return 10-15 years from now.

Business leaders have been pushing for the permanent solution of lining the pass with rocks, but say this is a start.



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