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Water-Related News

Sarasota County to consider $500,000 in waterway grants to Longboat Key

The West Coast Inland Navigation District is slated to provide the town of Longboat Key nearly $500,000 in funding for waterway projects.

While the town of Longboat Key prepares to break ground on the new an improved Bayfront Park next month, Sarasota County commissioners will consider nearly $400,000 in grant money for the project next week.

The County Commission on Tuesday will consider $1.6 million in West Coast Inland Navigation District grants, of which Longboat is eligible for nearly $500,000.

The Bayfront Park grant is for the project’s living seawall, which involves the creation of boardwalks and bridges along mangroves, a kayak launch and storage, restrooms, a pavilion, fishing piers and parking.

“It is expected the residents, boaters and visitors who access the park either by land or water will have the opportunity to use all park amenities, learn about the importance of mangroves as fish nursery, characteristics of water quality and protecting the environment through safe and proper use for boating activities and the role they play in protecting our shorelines,” according to the grant application.

The four-county navigable waterways district has also earmarked $70,000 for the Longboat Key Police Department’s marine unit, $11,000 to upgrade the fire department’s vessel and another $10,000 to support the removal of derelict boats. In total, that’s more than triple the $128,000 county commissioners approved last year.