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Date of Issue: July 22, 2009

Grant approved for kayak launch

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The plan for a non-motorized boat launch in Herb Dolan Park in Bradenton Beach. Islander Image: Courtesy Bradenton Beach

The Sarasota Bay Estuary Project and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will assist Bradenton Beach in establishing a kayak launch at Herb Dolan Park.

SBEP announced earlier this month that FWS money will fully fund the project, one of two major elements in the city’s master recreational boating plan. The other element is the creation of a formal mooring field south of the Historic Bridge Street Pier.

The kayak launch will be established at Herb Dolan Park on the city’s northeast side.

A plan shows the kayak launch on the shoreline at the east end of 25th Street near Avenue A. A kayak rack will be erected nearby, and the city plans to better delineate parking along 25th Street, as well as plant vegetation along a nearby alley and Avenue A to prohibit parking.

At the launch site, the city plans to remove existing riprap and instead shore up the area with geoweb netting, soil and spartina grass to create a softer, but stable shoreline.

The nutrient-absorbing plants along Avenue A will be in a swale so that, in addition to preventing people from parking, the swale will serve as a stormwater filter.

Much of the grant money will be used to remove an estimated 18,000 tons of rock and concrete dumped at the edge of the shore over the years.

The city already has applied for a permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for work at the site.

“I like to say that we will have our project by this time next year,” said city project/program director Lisa Marie Phillips.