Sand taken from New Pass will renourish Lido Beach.
Work could begin on the $3.9 million dredging of New Pass this weekend, Sarasota city officials said on Wednesday.
Around 185,000 cubic yards of sand will be removed from New Pass and used for emergency renourishment of nearby Lido Key. In May, the city declared a local state of emergency for Lido Beach because of beach erosion.
“We issued the state of emergency in recognition of the serious threats that just one more storm could pose for our environment, our local economy, properties and infrastructure on Lido Key and the quality of life that we all enjoy,” City Manager Tom Barwin said in a release.
The contractor, Coastal Dredging Corp. of Hammond, La., will spend the next few days bringing in equipment and laying pipe for the project, which is expected to take 90 days.
Sarasota and Longboat Key have traditionally taken turns dredging New Pass and putting the sand to use in renourishment projects. The two municipalities have a joint permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for the dredging of New Pass.
The last time New Pass was dredged was in late 2016 by Longboat. Sand from that project was used on the town’s north and south end beaches.
The renourishment of Lido Beach is being done to offset erosion caused by Tropical Storm Hermine in 2016 and Hurricane Irma last year. Project costs are being shared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Sarasota, which is paying $600,000.
Lido Beach will remain open during the dredging. Beachgoers, however, are advised to be aware of active work zones and use caution.
The marked boating channel through New Pass has been closed for more than a year because of shoaling. The U.S. Coast Guard, which removed channel markers in mid-2017, has said it will look again at channel conditions after the project and decide then about replacing the markers. Sarasota leaders have said the focus of the project is on beach restoration, not navigational improvements.