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Siesta Group Plans to Sue to Stop Big Pass Dredge

Posted on July 7, 2016

By Anna Brugmann,

Save our Siesta Sand 2, an organization opposed to plans to dredge Big Pass, is organizing support to take legal action against the city of Sarasota and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to prevent the proposed project to renourish Lido Key.

SOSS2 chairman Peter van Roekens said he is waiting for the Army Corps of Engineers to formally acquire the necessary permits to move forward with dredging before he files suit on behalf of his organization.

For now, he is partnering with other island organizations, such as the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce and the Siesta Key Village Association, to contribute to an approximate $200,000 in impending legal fees. The organization has raised about $62,000 so far, but is hoping to raise an additional $150,000.

“We’re all in this together,” van Roekens said.

SKVA president Mark Smith called for members to donate to the cause at the association’s monthly meeting today.

“Each business and resident kind of needs to make an assessment of what Siesta Key means to them,” Smith said.

After the meeting, Smith told the Sarasota Observer he is concerned the dredging may increase erosion on the south side of Siesta Key and create the need for continued dredging to maintain the pass.

“When you take sand from a pass, it’s hard to predict what the impact will be,” Smith said.


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