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Water-Related News

Sarasota County: More review needed for Lido beach renourishment

SARASOTA — Sarasota County officials will ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to undertake a second, more exhaustive environmental study before the controversial Lido Key beach renourishment project proceeds.

If the Army Corps accepts the county's recommendation, which it is not required to do, the decision could delay by years the project to rebuild more than 1.5 miles of eroded beachfront on Lido Key.

The long-planned renourishment project calls for dredging up to 1.2 million cubic yards of sand from several areas in Big Pass, the channel between Lido and Siesta keys.

But the plan has been under fire from Siesta residents, groups and businesses who fear changes to the channel could lead to more and faster erosion on Siesta Key's iconic beaches.

Citing those concerns, the Sarasota County Commission voted unanimously Tuesday morning to ask the Army Corps to reverse its environmental assessment's conclusion of “finding of no significant impact,” referred to in shorthand as a FONSI, and begin a more comprehensive review known as an “environmental impact statement,” dubbed an EIS.