Former Manatee County Commissioner Joe McClash is continuing his call for an administrative hearing on Longboat Key’s plan to build three groins extending into the pass from Beer Can Island, or Greer Island as it also is known, on the south side of Longboat Pass. Coquina Beach in the city of Bradenton Beach is on the north side of the pass.
Longboat officials say the structures would prevent the island — although it is attached to the Longboat Key shore —from further expansion where migrating sands are accumulating and interfering with boats navigating the channel.
McClash has appealed to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for a hearing, and he hopes to have a decision this month.
Additionally, McClash said he has an online petition protesting the groin plan that has been signed by nearly 600 people.
“I don’t know what the ultimate decision will be, but Longboat Key proposes three groins, one of which will be about 300 feet long,” McClash said. The other two groins would each be about 150 feet long.
McClash said the groins would ruin the area for recreational boaters and would not keep sand from migrating into the pass.
But Longboat Key, which pays for its own beach renourishment, has a marine engineering study that says the groins are necessary to keep Beer Can Island from expanding.
The plan also calls for groins at other locations along the beach south of the Longboat Pass on the Longboat Key shore.
If the DEP declines to hold a hearing, McClash said he may appeal to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to have a public meeting on the renourishment project.