Efforts to reopen Beach Road will also be highlighted at this year’s Party on the Pass hosted by Save our Siesta Sands 2.
Save our Siesta Sand 2 (SOSS2), a group opposed to the Big Pass dredge, is inviting the public to their second annual Party on the Pass on Sunday from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. on the Big Pass sand bar.
Siesta Key Marina is offering transportation to the event from Siesta Key Marina at 10 a.m. and from Bay Island Park at 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. The marina will also be facilitating return trips to to Bay Island Park at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Return trips to Siesta Key Marina are scheduled for 3 p.m.
Round trip transportation costs $20, which will benefit SOSS2 and the efforts to reopen Beach Road.
Event organizer Rich Schineller hopes the event will highlight the SOSS2’s efforts to prevent the Big Pass dredge.
The organization has been vocal in its opposition to a city of Sarasota plan to dredge sand from Big Pass to renourish Lido Key. Though many against the dredge concede that Lido Key needs to be renourished, there is mounting concern among Siesta Key residents and neighborhood groups that altering the pass may have unintended consequences on Siesta Key.
“There’s lots of concern about changing the existing flows of the inlet,” Schineller said.
This year’s Party on the Pass comes as SOSS2 prepares to sue the city of Sarasota and the Army Corps of Engineers pending permit issuance for the project.
The event will also highlight efforts to reopen the northernmost portion of Beach Road between Columbus Boulevard and Avenida Messina on Siesta Key. The portion of road was temporarily vacated in 1993 and no cars have driven on the road since.
County commissioners voted to formally vacate the roadway in May, which prompted Siesta Key resident Mike Cosentino to file a legal complaint against Sarasota County on the grounds that the commission had decreased public’s access to the beach by voting to close the road. Cosentino has since been mounting residents’ support in petitioning commissioners to reopen and restore Beach Road.
Though he could not speak to any future collaboration between the two, Schineller said he hopes the event will highlight both group’s efforts to maintain Siesta Key’s natural resources.
“We’re all like minded in trying to preserve the phenomenal shared resources in Sarasota and the public’s right to enjoy and have access to them,” Schineller said.