Siesta Key dredging starts Thursday, March 11th
Beach restoration must end before turtle nesting season starts on May 1
SARASOTA COUNTY – A $21.5 million beach restoration project on south Siesta Key finally will begin Thursday, three months after Sarasota County officials awarded the contract and two months before the work is slated to end.
New Jersey-based Weeks Marine will start dredging some 690,000 cubic yards of sand from an offshore site about nine miles away and load it onto two barges, Sarasota County Project Manager Paul Semenec said.
The company will then pump that sand from the barges, through an underwater pipe, and onto the shoreline. It will also add about 1.1 acres of dune vegetation, to protect more than two miles of fragile beaches from the steady threat of erosion.
The project stretches from the Sanderling Beach Club south to Palmer Point Park.
All work must cease before May 1, when sea turtles begin their nesting season under the watchful eye of Mote Marine Laboratory, which dispatches scientists and volunteers to monitor turtle activity throughout the season.