Bimini Bay dredging project starts up

A West Coast Inland Navigation District project to dredge the Bimini Bay channel near Galati Marine in Anna Maria began Feb. 9, said WCIND director Chuck Listowski.

“We are administering a dredge contract on behalf of Manatee County and the city of Anna Maria for the Bimini Bay-Key Royale entrance channel,” Listowski said.

The project is funded by a WCIND grant.

The channel, which has caused navigational problems for boaters, divides the cities of Anna Maria and Holmes Beach.

The dredged material will be “pumped to the Anna Maria fishing pier beach park,” by the Lake LaVista inlet just north of the city pier, he added.

It will be a quick project.

“We should complete the dredging in about two weeks,” Listowski said.

He said the barge, dredge and tugboats were making preparations in Bimini Bay for several days before the start date of Feb. 9, but the dredge had not yet begun.

Portions of Bimini Bay, including the channel, came to be within the city limits of Anna Maria after the city annexed the waters in 2010. Manatee County, which previously had jurisdiction, determined it had no interest in providing services, permits and planning for the portion of Bimini Bay annexed by the city.

The annexation process took 18 months, and was approved by the Florida Legislature, allowing the city to issue dock permits and provide governmental services and law enforcement to its portion of Bimini Bay.

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