Town officials told the Town Commission Thursday, Nov. 19 at its regular workshop that they are working feverishly to perform an emergency beach project that will place 600 cubic yards of sand at the North Shore Road beach access, which has been closed since earlier this year.
But because that sand will vanish unless something is done to stop the currents from picking up the sand and throwing it into Longboat Pass, the town and Manatee County have agreed to work together to use staff and funding reserves to develop an inlet management plan for Longboat Pass and area beaches.
The plan, county and town officials hope, will give some insight into what needs to be done to stop the majority of Longboat’s sand from being washed into the pass.
The county has the same issue with a fast-eroding beach at Coquina Beach, on Anna Maria Island. That beach is also swept into Longboat Pass, which continually shifts south and disrupts the beach on both sides of the inlet.
“We placed 130,000 cubic yards of sand on the north end during the last beach project,” Public Works Director Juan Florensa said. “Today, there is no sand there at all.”
Town Manager Bruce St. Denis said it’s possible the town and the county can get grant money for the pass study.
And St. Denis said the town’s plan to place four breakwaters acting as rock islands 220 feet from shore to counteract the beach erosion could start construction as soon as November 2010.
“We will continue on the path for a beach permit, an emergency sand source and the breakwater project,” said St. Denis, who referred to the emergency sand source as protection for the road until the breakwaters can be built. “We need to protect our road and our utilities.”
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