Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Beer Can Island dredge work to begin this month

The entire project on Longboat Key's north end is expected to be completed in July.

  • By
  • | 4:00 p.m. April 5, 2023
An emergency dredge was completed in summer 2022, but another has become necessary.
An emergency dredge was completed in summer 2022, but another has become necessary.
Photo by Lauren Tronstad
  • Longboat Key
  • News
  • Share

Greer Island, also known as Beer Can Island, is set to get another facelift after a budget transfer was approved by Longboat Key town commissioners Monday. 

After an emergency dredge was completed last summer, extra sand from the project has been awaiting its new home on the Gulf side of the island. 

The sand will be placed in the newly established groin field in the vicinity of North Shore Road. 

After bids for the project came back at over $1 million, town Public Works staff came before the commission to ask for a budget transfer. 

“This project has always been funded out of the beach (account) not the canal because of its beneficial use of the sand,” Public Works Programs Manager Charlie Mopps said. “The sand will go back onto the beach.”

The sand is expected to stay out of the canal and on the beaches longer because of the five new groins on the north end that will help protect the shoreline and slow down sand movement back to the spit. The groins give the department confidence that it will be a longer time between dredge projects than has been needed before. 

“The acceleration of that spit growth over the last couple of years through our beach nourishments on the north end and then with the storm events, it really did impact that area greatly and has increased the speed by which that spit has grown,” Mopps said. “The amount of material that we are taking is basically everything on the east side of the bridge and then a huge chunk of it on the west side of the bridge, so that way it is going to look like the conditions back in 2007 or 2008.” 

During that time frame, the canal was much wider than it has been in recent years. Essentially, Mopps said, there will be no place to park a boat on the east side of the bridge where buoys had previously been placed to mark the area and prohibit boats. 

With the approval of the budget transfer, preliminary work such as removal of vegetation is expected to begin the middle of this month. 

“Towards the middle of May, they were hoping to start clearing Canal 1A, which is that area by the dock, in order to clear enough of a path to get in and dredge the little amount of material in Canal 1A,” Mopps said. 

However, the order of work has needed to be adjusted to meet Florida Department of Environmental Protection standards of surveying seagrass during growing season, which starts in June. Instead, it is likely the contractors will begin with dredging material on the outer portion rather than starting with the canal. 

The entirety of the project should be completed in July. 

The budget account for the Canal Dredging-1A beneficial use had $197,477 before the transfer. The account has previously supported two emergency dredge efforts in Spring 2021 and Summer 2022 including the design, permitting and construction of both projects. 

For work on this dredge to begin this spring, an additional $1,002,523 was requested to be transferred from the beach capital fund, bringing the dredge account balance to about $1.2 million. 

After the transfer, the beach capital fund account would still have just over $4 million. 

The acquisition of the permits needed for this dredge project are the start of the management plan the department has been hoping to start. Years from now, when dredge work needs to be done again, the town will already have the necessary permits. Staff will just need to update the information. 


Latest News