NewsPinellas County


Residents say boats are a danger to swimmers and destroying seagrass NE of Dunedin Causeway

Posted at 6:01 PM, Aug 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-09 18:45:01-04

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Some Dunedin residents are concerned that motorboats northeast of the Dunedin Causeway are a danger to swimmers and are destroying protected sea grass beds.

"We’ve got too many kids out here with the boats, its a disaster waiting to happen," said Dunedin resident Sandie Selvaggio.

Selvaggio, who has lived in Dunedin for more than 40 years, says no motorboats should be allowed in the shallow area northeast of the Causeway.

"The northeast end here is the beginning of one of the largest seagrass meadows in Florida, extending for 15,000 acres all the way to Anclote Key," said Kim Begay, conservation advocate.

Begay says the boats are not only a danger to swimmers and fishermen who use the shallow water, but the boats are tearing up the protected seagrass beds.

"We’ve had boats and trailers stuck in here that were stuck for days," said Begay.

The city of Dunedin allows boats to launch on the south side of the causeway.

But Begay says when the launching area is backed up, people come to the north side to launch, ripping up the protected seagrass beds that take years to grow back.

On Tuesday the Dunedin Causeway Coastal Waterway Committee will vote whether or not to put signage up restricting motorboats from entering the shallow area.

Residents say they want it preserved for wildlife.

"They have the whole causeway to do their weekend thing, but this area is too special to ruin," said Selvaggio.