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Water-Related News

Sarasota and Charlotte counties teaming up to combat beach erosion

SARASOTA COUNTY — The county has answered a call for help from a neighboring jurisdiction suffering from beach erosion that threatens private property and potentially public infrastructure if nothing is done.

The Sarasota County Commission has agreed to become a co-applicant with Charlotte County on Charlotte applications seeking state money to rebuild disappearing portions of critically eroded shoreline south of Sarasota County along Manasota Key. The move increases the chances Charlotte will receive funds from the state, officials said, adding that Sarasota County would be responsible only for covering costs of renourishing its own beaches on Manasota Key, which suffer from sporadic erosion. The Sarasota County Commission unanimously approved the move at its meeting last week.

“Any time you have multiple jurisdictions or regional type projects, the state likes to see that,” Sarasota County Commissioner Charles Hines said. “Obviously, this is one natural system, so it would kind of be strange to stop right there at the county line.”

If nothing is done about the area’s disappearing shoreline, the economy could begin to suffer, Hines added.

“A major economic driver here is our beaches and our water, so from that standpoint, we’ve got to protect our beaches,” Hines said.