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Water-Related News

“Sand war” continues between Siesta Key and Lido Key

SARASOTA – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has recently granted a permit to dredge Big Pass – continuing the four-year battle over sand.

The dredging is part of a Lido Key shoreline re-nourishment project, which aims to replenish 1.6 miles of the Lido Key with sand from Big Pass.

Although the project is backed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the city of Sarasota, the plans have provoked considerable opposition from Siesta Key residents.

"It'll be catastrophic not just for Siesta Key but for our ecosystem, our economics,” Siesta Key businessman Michael Holderness said.

Holderness owns Beach Side Villas and has 200 rentals on Siesta Key. He’s also part of Save our Siesta Sands 2 (SOSS2) group. They’re fighting the DEP’s permit to the City of Sarasota — giving it the green light to dredge Big Pass between Siesta and Lido Key.

The permit authorizes the project team to take 1.3 million cubic yards of sand from Big Pass to place on the central and southern segments of Lido Key — a plan which is expected to cost around $22 million.