PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Pinellas County leaders approved a major beach renourishment project on Pass-a-Grille beach Thursday.
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Crews plan to fill in the shoreline from around 24th Avenue South with new sand to help stop beach erosion and prevent damage to nearby buildings during Hurricane season.
Pinellas County leaders say Pass-a-Grille has lost at least 56,000 cubic yards of sand, which is enough to fill 467 football fields. The shoreline is now 70-140 feet narrower, according to John Bishop in the county's coastal management office.
The project should cost about $5M total, with the state shouldering about $930,000 of that. The federal government is expected to cover the bulk of the cost at $3.1M. Pinellas County will cover about $930,000, paid for with tourist tax dollars. Visitors pay that each time they stay in a hotel in Pinellas County.
The project will begin in 2021.
Bruno Falkenstein, who co-owns the Hurricane Seafood Restaurant on Pass-a-Grille Beach couldn't be happier. "The beaches are our economy. If Florida beaches go away, so does the economy of Florida go away."
The last time Pass-a-Grille was renourished was 2014.
Beaches on Sand Key and Treasure Island were renourished in 2018. Upham Beach was renourished in May 2019.