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Water-Related News

Manasota Key residents pushing for joint beach renourishment

VENICE -- Homeowners on the Sarasota County side of Manasota Key are working to build support for a plan to extend a Charlotte County beach renourishment project farther north on the key.

Much of the key’s beaches spanning both counties have severely eroded in recent years, especially after last summer’s storms battered the area, and homeowners there have pleaded with the Sarasota County Commission to help.

To that end, Sarasota and Charlotte leaders agreed at a special joint meeting last fall that it could make sense to extend the estimated $21 million Charlotte-side renourishment north on the key to help those Sarasota County-side property owners whose homes are also threatened by erosion.

But in the months since, a survey of Sarasota County property owners on the key produced seemingly inconclusive results about whether there is widespread support to pursue -- and help pay for -- a larger Sarasota-side project that could cost up to another $20 million, Sarasota County Planning Director Matt Osterhoudt said Monday.

The survey results show that the majority of respondents are in favor of or neutral on whether the beaches should be renourished, but only about a third of property owners actually responded to the survey.