Bradenton Beach channel dredging inches closer to reality

Dredging the channel along the Sarasota Bay coastline of Bradenton Beach is a subject that comes up every few months with not a lot of solid news, other than the project will eventually happen.

For residents with docks that jut to the channel, it can be problematic to negotiate a vessel into navigable waters and, at times, low tide can make the task impossible for some.

Bradenton Beach Police Lt. John Cosby, who plans capital improvement projects through the CIP committee, met with city officials at a Feb. 13 work session with department heads.

Cosby assured officials that the longstanding dredge plan, which is being funded by the West Coast Inland Navigation District, is making progress. At what pace, Cosby could not confirm with confidence.

“I met with WCIND and they have assured us that they will have a draft of the permit application by the end of the month,” said Cosby. “From there, it will go to the state.”

While trying to use the channel has been frustrating for some, Cosby said the good news is that it is not as bad as thought when the project was first requested.

“There are about six or seven spots along the whole channel where we have a bad water level,” said Cosby. “So the project is not as big as we first thought.”

Because the project will require seagrass mitigation, the city is seeking to make it a joint project with Manatee County. Cosby said the county has a good seagrass mitigation program.

While a joint project appears to be a good thing, Cosby said it has taken awhile to get the entities to agree on what needs to be done.

“But now we are all on the same page, so that project is moving forward,” said Cosby.

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