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Water-Related News

Battle lines drawn in the sands

By Eric Ernst

SARASOTA – As John Kirker walked Lido Beach one recent morning, pointing out natural landmarks, his attention returned invariably to what was not there: enough sand.

“I haven't been out in a week,” he said. “I'm amazed at how much is gone.”

Kirker would know. As beach chairman of the 900-member Lido Key Residents Association, he has monitored the coming and going of Lido's sand for more than two decades.

Lately, there's been more going than coming, which has inspired a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal to dredge nearby Big Sarasota Pass and place the sand on Lido intermittently over the next 50 years.

The plan also includes the construction of three groins, or low rock seawalls, which would be partially buried perpendicular to the shoreline at the southern tip of the island.

The whole idea has alarmed property owners on Siesta Key to the south.