County commissioner disputes beach fix


County commissioner disputes beach fix


Date: October 8, 2009
by: Kurt Schultheis | City Editor


Manatee County Commissioner Joe McClash was removed as the county’s representative for the West Coast Inland Navigation District by his peers last week, after he took it upon himself to dispute the Longboat Key’s application for breakwaters on the north end of the island.

At the Manatee County Commission’s Tuesday, Oct. 6 regular meeting, the commission lashed out at McClash, who was absent from that portion of the meeting, for using county commission letterhead to write a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In the letter dated Oct. 1, McClash expressed “serious concerns in using manmade geotextile tubes” for the breakwater project that the town hopes the state will approve to stave off massive erosion that led to the closing of the North Shore Road beach access in March.

The town, which is hoping to renourish the hot-spot area soon with 600 cubic yards of sand, has submitted a long-term plan to hold the sand in that area.

The $1.5 million plan is to build four 130-foot-long breakwaters, which are offshore structures that protect an area from wave energy and deflect strong currents, 220 feet from the shoreline.

But Town Manager Bruce St. Denis alerted the Manatee County Commission last week that McClash’s claims are unfounded.

“The project does not include any sand-filled geotubes,” said St. Denis, who said the structures would sit on top of a geotextile filter cloth.

For more information, including what McClash’s letter means for the Longboat breakwater project, pick up a copy of the Thursday Oct. 15 Longboat Observer.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at


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