Island Chatter: July

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Survey available for plan to upgrade Siesta sports courts

Sarasota County is upgrading the pickleball and tennis court area at Siesta Beach, and your input is being sought. Help the county shape this project by taking just a couple of minutes to complete a quick survey. Your feedback matters!

Take the survey by visiting:


Grand Canal regeneration continues to thrive

The 50/50 program involving the regeneration of Siesta Key’s 9-mile Grand Canal resulted in a big success, project organizer Jean Cannon reports.

Thanks to an anonymous donation of $35,000, residents with docks were able to purchase mini reefs for $169. On a single day in May, 86 mini reefs were installed on the island, Cannon said, with 70 of them being placed in the Siesta Isles community.

A total of 217 mini reefs were sold during the special offer, and after the next round of installs the total number in the canal will exceed 480.

The mini reefs filter as much as 30,000 gallons of water per day, and create a habitat that produces as many as 300 fish and 200 crabs per year.

“We’ve also noticed, during this install, an increase in juvenile fish around the older reefs,” Cannon said. “These older reefs have been in the water for three years.”

Furthermore, a “Sounds of the Mini Reef” underwater video has been created by the project team’s Becky Seiner and Phil Chiocchio, highlighting life below the docks where the mini reefs are present.

To view the video, visit

“The team was amazed by the sounds we discovered coming from the oysters, shrimp and clams beneath our feet,” Cannon said.


No SKA meeting in July

The Siesta Key Association civic group will not be holding a July meeting.

The next meeting is Thursday, Aug. 3, at 4:30 p.m. in the community room at St. Boniface Church, 5615 Midnight Pass Rd.

Visit for more information.


Beach access mat is restored, is now 50 feet longer

The Siesta Beach access mat was recently restored and now includes 504 feet of runway, Sarasota County reports.

The new mat (which is 50 feet longer than the previous mat) is intended to be a non-slip, heat-resistant and stable rollout pathway, perfect for wheelchairs and other mobility assistive devices. In fact, the mat provides beach access to an average of 200,000 users per month.

Next time you’re there, post up on one of the four wings attached to the mat or explore the beach by renting a free beach wheelchair available at the concessions.


Midnight Pass Society II community event is July 8

A community event where leaders of the Midnight Pass Society II group will give updates on the possible restoration of Midnight Pass, and how to volunteer in the effort, will be held at noon July 8 at The Point restaurant, 131 Bayview Drive, in Osprey.

 Midnight Pass is the former waterway that ran between Siesta Key and Casey Key.


County’s summer/fall recreation guide is available

Looking for recreation opportunities in Sarasota County? Or are you interested in learning about the county’s natural areas?

View the Summer/Fall Events and Activities Guide now at:

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