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Water-Related News

Longboat Key beach renourishment questions answered

Renourishment fascinates and annoys residents as project moves ahead.

Like other beachfront residents, Ellen Leef likes to keep her sliders open at night, the better to hear the waves. But since dredging began this spring, she hears more mechanical noise than natural whooshing.

"(Usually) it’s mostly sailboats, occasional dolphins, sometimes those awful Cigarette boats, but mostly it’s really calm and peaceful except when the water is thrilling because of a storm, so when this thing came it caught my attention,” she said.

The dredging adds a clattering instrument to the natural soundtrack of her neighborhood and though she knows it’s important work, she prefers the sound of the mockingbirds to pipes being transported.

“Things have to happen, I understand that,” Leef said. “Now I keep my sliders closed.”

It's a rare opportunity to watch as the town's comprehensive project to add more than a million cubic yards of sand to the beaches.

The town has put 7.7 million cubic yards of sand on its beaches dating back to 1993. Beach project manager Charlie Mopps said the figure will be closer to 9 million after its current projects are finished. For perspective, a dump truck can carry 10-14 cubic yards.