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Water-Related News

FDEP issues notice for Big Pass dredging permit

SARASOTA – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection posted late Thursday its "notice of intent to issue" the joint coastal permit necessary to pursue the controversial dredging of Big Pass to nourish Lido Key beaches.

The notice marks a turning point at which the decade-long bitter public argument between Lido and Siesta keys over the science behind the project turns into a formal legal battle for Siesta groups trying to stop it in its tracks.

The proposed project led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and City of Sarasota plans to dredge up to 1.2 million cubic yards of sand from the pass to rebuild more than 1.5 miles of Lido Key beach. It also includes the installation of two perpendicular beach groins to slow sand movement.

FDEP's notice does not include suggested revisions for the permit from Siesta opponents, all but ensuring a challenge and lengthy reviews.