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Date of Issue: February 06, 2008

No federal money in Anna Maria beach renourishment

No federal money will be utilized for the $7.5 million portion of the planned 2011-12 beach renourishment project in Anna Maria.

Funding for the entire Anna Maria portion of the project will come from state and Manatee County sources, according to Manatee County ecosystems director Charlie Hunsicker.

A story in the Jan. 29 issue of The Islander had indicated that federal money would be used in Anna Maria, but Hunsicker said federal funds will only be spent to renourish Coquina Beach. The federal government portion of that part of that $13 million project is estimated at $9.1 million, with state and county funds accounting for the balance.

For the 1.5 mile stretch of Anna Maria that will be renourished, the state of Florida will pay $3.15 million, while Manatee County will fund the remaining portion, in large part from the “bed tax” collected on room rentals.

Presently, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has estimated that Anna Maria needs between 38 and 40 additional parking spaces for public access to qualify for the maximum in state funding. A study done by Coastal Planning and Engineering indicates the additional parking spaces equate to another $360,000 in state funds for the project.

The Coastal study also recommends the construction of five groins along Anna Maria’s eastern shore starting several hundred yards north of the Rod & Reel Pier and continuing at regular intervals to the eastern edge of the Bean Point area.


Renourishment workshop Feb. 12

Manatee County ecosystems director Charlie Hunsicker along with Rick Spadoni of Coastal Planning and Engineering and other involved officials and engineers will hold a public work session on the planned 2011-12 Island renourishment project at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Anna Maria City Hall.

Construction and dredging is not expected to begin until 2011-12, Hunsicker has said, but the feasibility study has been completed and preparations for the project are ongoing.

The last complete Island beach renourishment project was in 2002. An emergency beach renourishment project prompted by the erosion caused by several hurricanes passing near the Island in 2004 was started in 2005, but never completed due to contractor difficulties and the accompanying expiration of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging permit.