State of emergency declared at Lido Beach for erosion

Emergency declared after walking inspection

SARASOTA, Fla. — A State of Emergency is in effect in Sarasota at Lido Beach following an extensive walking inspection by the city manager.

The state of emergency applies to the most threatened part of the beach. This includes markers R-37 south to R-44.2 on the southern part of the beach. And markers R-31 to R-33 on the northern part. 

City Manager Tom Barwin inspected the beach with a Florida Department of Environmental Protection official. 

“It’s getting worse by the hour,” said Barwin.

He says with the relentless conditions from Alberto, it's a dire situation. The surf is continuously pounding and eroding the beach leaving private property, wildlife nesting areas and infrastructure exposed. 

"By declaring the local State of Emergency for Lido Beach, the City seeks to qualify for any regulatory and financial assistance available," Barwin said. 

He added that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will assist property owners to get a permit to place sand bags on the beach to protect their property. 

Property owners would be able to place up to 300 cubic yard of beach-quality bagged sand on the beach to protect their property. Barwin doesn't think that's enough and plans to petition for the amount to be doubled. 

“While 300 cubic yards is a start, much more is needed,” said Barwin. “During our walking inspection today, the sheer force of the wave action was physically moving FDEP-approved sandbags that were recently put there.”

The City of Sarasota has short term and long term plans for Lido Beach. For the short term they plan to replace sand lost during Hurricane Irma this fall.

Long term, the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection initially approved a 50-year program to renourish the beach on a regular basis. This is in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

If you're a property owner on Lido Beach interested in getting a permit for sandbags contact Kelly Cramer, FDEP Environmental Specialist II via her email: Kelly.Cramer@dep.state.fl.us. 

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