Does it sound “SAFE”, during the height of nesting season, to use a hydraulic cutter to chew through the ebb delta and destroy Congressman Buchanan’s designated ‘Estuary of National Significance’ where endangered sea turtles are swimming? Pumping sand, without even the foundation constructed and, in the location, where turtles are attempting to nesting?
We have shallow waters; these such activities have proven to be extremely dangerous to sea turtles. Such activities are wrong and violate the mere spirt of the Federal Endangered Species Act, Sarasota County Sea turtle protection Code, and 62B-55 FAC doing anything before 1st, end of nesting season at best.
While better solutions are so easy, cheaper, healthier for all, and can save millions in public funds. In fact a long-term, cost-effective, environmentally friendly solutions are what gained the congressional approved needed. Still and without the proper authorization, Tom Barwin and Alex Davis-Shaw (both city staff members) have knowingly directed ACOE to prematurely start. Likely an attack on eco-system for political reasons.
INTRODUCTION: Sarasota County’s Big Pass is a natural pass and the coast guard designated New Pass are two important inlets for safe navigation, estuary ecosystem, and adjacent beaches and shoreline.
NEW PASS is a symmetrical inlet and its main channel thalweg remains stable since 1943 and its ebb delta being dredged frequency since 1923. As a result of dredging the wrong areas, Lido Beach will continuously be eroded.
However, Big Pass’s ebb delta has never been dredged. As a result, North Siesta Key Beaches continue to grow.
BIG PASS NAVIGATION: Is naturally 17-23ft. deep channel for navigation without dredging. Simply remove the groin and/or any man-made structures. It works for all for over 1,000 years until Bird Key temporarily messes it up. *DO NOT TOUCH CUT C! A NEW channel 500’ wide x 16’ deep x 2 miles long channel next to the natural existing channel will cause all to collapse.
The proposed Big Pass dredging will reduce the total amount of sands available to transport to the north Siesta Key shoreline, impairs water quality, will significantly reduce the amount of sand transport to Siesta Key beaches (just as Bird Key had started in 1950).
That said an Inlet Management Plan (IMP) is a critical tool for inlet management. However, Sarasota County’s last IMP was conducted in April 2008. The city of Sarasota did not have an IMP since 1993. Pursuant to 62B-41.005(15), FAC, a new IMP should be developed in 2 years of issuance of a new dredging permit. There is an immediate need to develop an IMP for Sarasota County’s Big Pass and New Pass right after the disastrous Lido Beach project.
NEW PASS NAVIGATION AND SAND SOURCES FOR LIDO: MAINTAIN IT. Because New Pass is a coast guard navigational channel. It requires maintenance and dredging to keep the channel deep for sailboats. Therefore, continue to do this with a new IMP, but without dredging the ebb shoal.
Unlike Venice, sand comes out of New Pass. Smaller maintenance projects are safer for the fishes and seagrasses too. It is more eco-friendly to do small harvesting on a maintenance schedule and is a cheap sand source for Lido. *They have NOT been maintained by City of Sarasota and Longboat — Key – Township. 2010 Inlet mgt Plan that was paid for by Count, but never implemented. If they would maintain what are already Coast Guard dedicated navigation channels, there is no problem for any large boats to navigate.
LONG-TERM BEST PRACTICE SOLUTIONS:
1st Fire Barwin, Davis-Shaw, and Berna and solutions immediately become simple for Big Sarasota Pass & New Pass Navigation, our Beaches, and Beyond.
NEW PASS: LONG-TERM LIDO NOURISHMENT PLAN AND NAVIGATION:
- Do NOT dredge ebb deltas, EVER AGAIN!
- Develop a current IMP for Big Pass/ New Pass
- Both County and City must update their IMP every 10 years.
- Pursuant to 62B-41.005(15), FAC, a new IMP should be developed in 2 years of issuance of a new dredging permit.
- Within 2 years of a major hurricane, both County and City must update their IMP to address the hurricane impacts. STILL NO IMP
- No federal funding if both County and City do not have an updated IMP.
- Before regular maintenance dredging could be re-implemented, FDEP required City to have one This was due in 2 years from July 15, 2015. That is more than 5 years passing and still no IMP. No IMP means bad managements for Big Pass and New Pass, which is currently going on such as a dredging project within Big Pass.
- Install additional channel markers along the north side of the entire channel,
and west of the New Pass Bridge.
- Because New Pass is a coast guard navigational channel. It requires maintenance and dredging to keep the channel deep for sailboats. Therefore, continue to do this safely with a new IMP, but without dredging the ebb shoal.
- Lido Beach Nourishment: After stopping ebb delta dredging in New Pass, Lido Beach will no longer be eroded as bad as it was before. If a beach nourishment project is needed for Lido Beach, use either inland sand source and/or offshore borrow site to reduce any negative impacts to navigation, seagrass, estuary ecosystem and adjacent beach and shoreline on North Siesta Key beaches.
- Sand Sources: New Pass, truck in sands from inland or dredging offshore borrow site to reduce any impacts to seagrass, shoreline, and beaches; NO OPPOSITION TO CUT D.
- MANY viable other sand sources for Lido Beach nourishment other than from CUT C i.e. the ‘Marine Park’ and LIDO: NO-ACTION ALTERNATIVE: “Doing Nothing Approach” is a better option than a problematic approach such as Big Pass dredging. It does not fix one problem but causes another! Rule of Thumb is “Respect Mother Nature”
- No new groins for Ted Sperling Park: As time goes by, there will be less and less sand that can be caught by a groin, eventually, no sands left to be caught and the groin no longer be able to function to protect the shoreline. Deadly RIP CURRENTS will increase. Therefore, the southern groin is not a long-term solution to solve erosion problems at any beach. What we currently have is sustainable and COST $ 0.00
BIG PASS: LONG-TERM NAVIGATION PLAN:
- DO NOT DREDGE CUT C or through its shoal, EVER!
- Use natural channel
- Develop a current IMP for Big Pass/ New Pass as one. Still NO IMP.
- Set-up a regular monitoring program of the channel location.
- Obtain and conduct measurement of main channel location every 5 years.
- Analysis aerial photos and data to monitor channel migration.
- Install additional channel markers throughout the pass channels, specifically near where the channel leaves the ebb shoal into the Gulf,
- Use data obtained from regular monitoring programs.
- Utilize aerial photo and sailor’s experience to set up markers.
- Dredging: MUST stop any dredging in Big Pass shoal areas because the ebb shoal dredging in New Pass caused Lido Beach erosion. Neither Cut C nor Cut D in Big Pass should be conducted because future ebb shoal dredging in Big Pass will cause North Siesta Key beach to suffer major avulsion. *If dredging has to take place, Cut D is a slightly better option than Cut C (or B) because it is on the north side of the main channel.
- Channel: Use natural 16-ft. deep channel for navigation without dredging, remove groin, and/or any man-made structures. It works for all of us over 1,000 years in Big Pass. A dredged/man-made NEW channel will not stay and will collapse. This will also cause our natural channel to become unstable again.
- Groins: Remove all existing groins, including the county 1970 built groin at beach access#2. Removal of existing groin off N. Siesta and the channel stop hooking south and will continue west.
CHANNEL MIGRATION: Historical Big Pass main channel data show that it has migrated to the south as a consequence of using Siesta Key’s sand source to develop Bird Key and adding a groin on N. Siesta to mitigate damages that followed.
A NEW channel (a.k.a. CUT C) will not stay and will collapse all and cause the natural channel to become unstable again.
MAIN CHANNEL (OFTEN USED FOR NAVIGATION) AND SAND BAR:
The pier has a complex history but far from historical. A newspaper article described the emergency erosion control groin, to be constructed, following Bird Key’s development, at the end of Avenida Messina, Articles indicate contention between the county commissioners and the public regarding the groin citing claims that it would be useless when the Big Pass Shoal shifted. It’s healed, however, groin was not removed by county because it was built on a private submerged lot instead of within the county beach access 2 (because it couldn’t as access #2 is a platted through-fare).
Reminder who got us here (Barwin and Harmer): LIDO AFTER DREDGING EBB DELTA:
BIRD KEY DEVELOPMENT: The 1950 Bird Key development was an example that sand sources were used for construction, causing severe beach avulsion problems and Big Pass main channel’s instability.
COASTAL SEDIMENT BUDGET: Once the sand grains enter the Gulf of Mexico, the sediment transport process takes place. This sediment transport process explains why Lido Beach has continuous erosion and Siesta Key beaches have accretions.
SAND SOURCES: Use IMP to safely harvest New Pass sand. Truck in sands or dredging offshore borrow site a minimum 20 miles away from beaches to reduce any impacts to seagrass, shoreline, and beaches. No objection to CUT D either. Use best practices for a win-win solution.
SIESTA KEY BEACH SAND SOURCE: Siesta Beach’s sand is 99% quartz. It’s estimated that the sand is millions of years old, having its origin in the Appalachians and flowing down the rivers from the mountains until it eventually was deposited on the shores of Siesta Key. These sand grains were carried by rivers into the Gulf and down the coast.
NORTH SIESTA KEY BEACH: In addition to the proposed dredging that will reduce the total amount of sands available to transport to the north Siesta Key shoreline, the deepened water depth will significantly reduce the amount of sand that would be able to transport to north Siesta Key. Avulsion is likely to occur after Big Pass dredging. Therefore, the proposed Big Pass dredging is a problematic solution; Siesta Does NOT share anyone else’s sand. SIESTA KEY can NOT share with anyone else.
Beach: Without Big Pass dredging, historical MHWL data sets from both 2002 Sarasota/Charlotte County Beach Feasibility Study Report, and the FDEP Historic Shoreline Database indicate that MHWL has accreted 95.4 ft. from 1987 to 2001, at an annual rate of accretion of 6.8 ft/yr. between 1987 and 2001; MHWL continued to accrete 151.41 ft. at an annual accretion rate of 10.09 ft/yr. between 2001 and 2015. The “30 –Year Erosion Projection Line” has moved to more than 256 ft. seaward of the current MHWL at the subject property at Lot 14, Block 7, Mira Mar Beach. Currently, the beach is accreting and healthy at this location without dredging.
SEDIMENT BUDGET – BIG PASS/NEW PASS:
Dredging cut C – USACOE’s own report confirms dredging will cause damage. Army Corp Modeling starts with the assumption of sand loss.
USED THE WRONG STARTING POINT, which gave them the wrong conclusion. USACOE ASSUMED Siesta Key would naturally erode if they did nothing. Hence why their model FAILED before it could be calibrated, and the project is even damaging then shown below.
“DO NOT CUT C” OR NAVIGATION WILL BE AS IMPAIRED AS WILL OUR GLOBAL WATER-QUALITY. WAVE INTENSITY AND RIP CURRENTS WILL BE DEADLY! Hence why Barwin approved the removal of 5,000 Lidar points and wave heights averaged before being turned into FDEP. Waves to “SK, Lido, Bird Key, and downtown showed dangers that crashed and failed the model, never calibrated.