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Water-Related News

Federal judge denies request to block Lido Key renourishment

The U.S. District Court decision represents the latest in a series of failed efforts from Siesta Key residents to halt the dredging of Big Pass.

A federal judge today [July 6] denied an emergency request to halt a Lido Key renourishment project scheduled to begin this week, stating the legal filing from a Siesta Key group lacked merit and contained procedural deficiencies.

Steven Merryday, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, issued a six-page order denying Save our Siesta Sands 2’s request for a temporary restraining order blocking the dredging of Big Pass. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and city of Sarasota are working jointly on a project to renourish the Lido shoreline with sand taken from Big Pass.

Merryday wrote that, although SOSS2 first filed a federal lawsuit against the Army Corps in January 2019, the group did not request a preliminary injunction against the dredging as the project team solicited bids and awarded a contract for construction. Instead, the group filed a motion for a temporary restraining order three business days before construction was scheduled to begin, claiming an emergency warranted halting the project without conducting a hearing.