FDEP extends deadline to issue Big Pass dredge permits
Lido and Siesta Key residents will have to wait until Oct. 1 to find out whether or not the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will grant permits for a City of Sarasota plan to dredge Big Pass to renourish Lido Key.
The FDEP filed the 30-day extension Friday.
The state agency has been reviewing the project's permit application since March 2015. Since then, the FDEP has filed two requests for additional information— one in April 2015 and then again in October of the same year.
This comes just weeks after the Sarasota County Commission voted to request an environmental impact statement from the Army Corps of Engineers at the Aug. 23 County Commission meeting. However, it is not clear whether or not that affected the FDEP’s decision to extend the review period.
"I think they're just doing their due diligence," City of Sarasota Engineer Alex DavisShaw said about the FDEP's decision.
The city of Sarasota is currently working with the FDEP to provide more information on a sea grass mitigation plan. Although the project is yet to be funded, DavisShaw believes funding will be easier to identify once permits have been secured.