State of Emergency declared for Lido Beach erosion
Contact: Jan Thornburg, Sr. Communications Manager 941-954-2613 Jan.Thornburg@SarasotaFL.Gov
**Note: The Lido Beach pavilion, concession stand and adjacent beach area remain OPEN to the public.
A local State of Emergency was declared by the City of Sarasota for Lido Beach erosion Wednesday afternoon following an extensive walking inspection of the severely eroded beach by City Manager Tom Barwin and a Florida Department of Environmental Protection official.
The City Manager is authorized to declare a State of Emergency with approval from one City Commissioner. Mayor Liz Alpert, the District 2 City Commissioner, concurs and is in full support of the State of Emergency, calling it “necessary.”
The State of Emergency applies to the most threatened portions of Lido Beach. On the southern half of Lido Beach, markers R-37 south to R-44.2 are included. Along the northern portion of Lido Beach, markers R-31 to R-33 are part of the local State of Emergency.
“It’s getting worse by the hour,” said Barwin. “With this relentless weather system related to Subtropical Storm Alberto, the surf continues to pound and erode the beach. It’s a dire situation. In some parts, the beach is nonexistent leaving private property, wildlife nesting areas and infrastructure exposed and in jeopardy. By declaring the local State of Emergency for Lido Beach, the City seeks to qualify for any regulatory and financial assistance available. Also, FDEP will directly assist Lido Beach property owners to obtain a permit to place sand bags and limited quantities of sand on the beach for private property protection purposes.”
A property owner would be eligible to place up to 300 cubic yards of beach-quality bagged sand on the beach to protect private property. Barwin plans to petition Tallahassee to double that amount.
“While 300 cubic yards is a start, much more is needed,” said Barwin. “During our walking inspection today, the sheer force of the wave action was physically moving FDEP-approved sandbags that were recently put there.”
Lido Beach property owners interested in obtaining an FDEP permit for sandbags to help slow down the erosion should contact Kelly Cramer, FDEP Environmental Specialist II, via email: Kelly.Cramer@dep.state.fl.us
“The next step is to continue to collaborate with our residents and partners at the County, State and Federal levels to restore and protect our beautiful, protective shoreline on Florida’s west coast,” said Barwin.
The City is actively pursuing two tracks to renourish Lido Beach: short term and long term. In the short term, the City has an approved permit and expects to replace sand lost during Hurricane Irma by this fall. In the long term, the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection initially approved a permit for a 50-year program with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to renourish Lido Beach on a regular basis, perhaps every five years. Earlier this month, a state administrative law judge upheld the joint federal-local restoration project. Barring further litigation by Siesta Key petitioners, that program could begin by the end of the year.
To read the State of Emergency click here.
For more information contact Jan Thornburg, Senior Communications Manager: 941-954-2613
About the City of Sarasota: Distinguished by Google as a Digital Capital in the U.S., the City of Sarasota is a diverse community located on Florida’s Suncoast with 53,000 year-round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach, a 45-hole municipal golf course at the historic Bobby Jones Golf Club, and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles. Learn more about us at www.SarasotaFL.Gov