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Water-Related News

Sarasota using sand bags to protect Lido pool and pavilion from erosion

It is estimated Lido Beach has lost 15 feet of shoreline in the last year

SARASOTA — The threat of damage to Lido Beach Pool and Pavilion from erosion has prompted the city to barricade the popular attraction with several tons of bagged sand.

The call was made to install a series of jumbo bags filled with 500 tons of sand around the pavilion after city officials noticed nearby dunes, which serve as a natural barrier from the ocean, began to disappear from erosion that has plagued the shoreline in recent months. It is estimated that Lido Beach has lost 15 feet of shoreline in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in September and Subtropical Storm Alberto in May, prompting the city manager to declare a state of emergency that month.

City workers began placing the 50-foot-by-4-foot bags around the pavilion and pool last week and will finish the job this week. Another 500 to 600 tons of bagged sand will be installed near the dunes once the city secures the necessary permits to place the bags closer to the water, city officials said. The Fort Myers maker of the bags, TrapBag, describes them as “quick deploy, self-erecting, cellular barrier bags capable of completely replacing sandbags for all natural or man-made disaster defense needs. We guarantee our bags as protection from natural disasters such as flash floods, beach erosion, mudslides, storm surges and levee breaching,” according to the company’s website.

City officials wasted no time waiting for the imminent threat of a storm since the installation takes about a week, and water during high tide is about 50 feet away from the pavilion, Todd Kerkering, the city’s emergency manager, said. The sandbags — packed with Florida-quality beach sand shipped from Jacksonville — will remain in place until the end of hurricane season, when the city proceeds with its planned beach renourishment project to rebuild parts of the critically eroded shoreline.