Island Chatter: March

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Beach Access 8 has new look

Earlier this year, the public pathway at Siesta Beach Access 8 was realigned to fall within the boundaries of public right-of-way and to stabilize and protect the vegetative dune habitat. With funding from the Tourist Development Tax, the beach access was surveyed, and the path was rerouted and lined with native plants. Visitors will notice new signage encouraging to stay on the new pathway which veers slightly to the right when heading to the Gulf of Mexico.

Similar plans for Siesta Beach access points 3B, 9 and 10 are expected to begin later this year. While the pathways are being rerouted, they will be temporarily closed; however, all other public beach access points will remain open.

The pathway at Siesta Key Beach Access 8 has been rerouted. (photo courtesy of Sarasota County)

Bicyclist on Siesta Key suffers serious injuries when struck

An 80-year-old male bicyclist was struck by a 2016 Nissan vehicle at 4:20 p.m. Feb. 1 on Midnight Pass Road near the south end of Siesta Key, the Florida Highway Patrol reports.

The man was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital with serious head injuries.

The man’s handlebars struck a trash can that was partially in the bike path, causing him to swerve into the path of the vehicle, according to Sgt. Dan Smith with Siesta Key’s substation of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

Egg hunt will be at Chapel

The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce’s annual Easter egg hunt has a new home: Siesta Key Chapel, 4615 Gleason Ave.

It will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 8.

Pre-registration is required and limited to 200 children (ages 1-6). There is a $12 fee per child.

To register, visit and click on the event calendar tab at the upper right of the homepage.

Beach University slate is set

The free and informative Beach University program runs each Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in March at the pavilion at Siesta Beach.

This year’s lineup is as follows:

March 2: Got Sand? with Jonathan Poyner, Siesta and Lido beach coordinator, Sarasota County.

March 9: Human Behaviors on the Environment with Jason Robertshaw, program manager for virtual learning, Mote Marine Laboratory.

March 16: Where Do Shells Come From? with Armando J. Ubeda, Florida Sea Grant agent, UF/IFAS Extension, Sarasota County.

March 23: Turtle Tagging and Satellite Tracking with Jim Grimes, GIS Professional, Sarasota County EIT – GIS Services.

March 30:  Fire in Coastal Ecosystems with Matt Brady, environmental specialist, Sarasota County.

For more information, visit

Online store supports Midnight Pass cause

Midnight Pass Society II, which is fighting to restore the Midnight Pass waterway between Siesta Key and Casey Key that was closed off in the early 1980s, now has an online store that helps raise funds and awareness toward its cause.

Visit to get access to the variety of items for sale. All money goes to the organization, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Spiegel no longer at helm of anti-hotel Siesta Key Coalition

The Siesta Key Coalition, which was created in 2021 to fight the proposed high-density hotels that were looking for county approval at the time, saw its board of directors in November vote in favor of going into a “holding pattern” as it awaits the outcome of lawsuits fighting those hotel approvals that came in late 2021 and 2022.

Also, president Mark Spiegel has stepped down from his role in order to focus on other commitments.

Vice-president Bob Luckner will be now president, pursuant to the group’s bylaws.

The Siesta Key Coalition testified in opposition to all three Sarasota County approvals of three hotels: One on Calle Miramar, one on Old Stickney Point Road, and one on Midnight Pass Road where the old Wells Fargo bank stood.

The group is also known for distributing hundreds of “NO HIGH-DENSITY HOTELS” yard signs in 2021.

Siesta Sand
Author: Siesta Sand

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