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AM gets sand pile removal order from DEP

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection said these mounds of excavated pool materials dumped at the north side of the Lake LaVista inlet in Anna Maria must be removed — unless the DEP determines the mounds consist of beach compatible sand. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

Those mounds of excavated pool materials dumped just north of Anna Maria’s Lake LaVista inlet on the north side of the humpback bridge on Bay Boulevard across the humpback bridge must be relocated, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Ana Gibbs of the DEP’s Temple Terrace office said neither the original 1999 Lake LaVista dredge permit, nor the 2010 modification of that permit allow anything but sand for beach renourishment to be stored at that location.

The Islander reported Feb. 1 that Anna Maria public works director George McKay said the piles came from the Bimini Bay/Key Royale dredging project by the West Coast Inland Navigation District. That project, however, had not begun.

McKay later told the newspaper there was a misunderstanding during his discussion with the newspaper regarding the purpose of the sand. McKay then said the mounds were deposited by pool contractors with his permission. He said the material was being stored for sandbagging and for possible beach renourishment at the pier. He also said he had determined the material to be beach compatible sand.

The Islander corrected McKay’s claim in the Feb. 9 issue, and noted that McKay allowed contractors to dump pool excavations at the site.

After Gibbs reviewed the 1999 permit and the 2010 modification, she said the permits “would only allow the deposition of sediment that was dredged as part of that permit and subsequent permit modifications” to be stored at the site.

“The permit is not intended to be a disposal site for any/all excavated or dredged material. The permitted spoil is intended to be used as beach renourishment sand at the authorized location,” Gibbs said.

Great Lakes Dock & Dredge pumped its spoil from the Bimini Bay/Key Royale dredging project to the shoreline north and south of the city pier. No spoil was stored.

Enough material was dredged from Bimini Bay to extend the shoreline approximately 150 feet on the north and south sides of the city pier into Tampa Bay.

Mayor Mike Selby said he would have McKay move the stored piles of debris to an acceptable location after he confirmed the permit requirements with Steve West of the DEP’s Sarasota office.

He apologized for any misunderstanding regarding the loads of pool excavations on city property.

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