Longboat to dredge 14 canals in the fall

Initially, the town, which has more than 70 natural and manmade canals, had hoped to begin dredging the still-navigable canals, located in both Sarasota and Manatee counties, more than a year ago. But, the project was delayed by 2017’s Hurricane Irma and the outbreak of red tide, Public Works Director Isaac Brownman said. Town plans to remove 15,000 cubic yards of material from canals.

Some time in fall 2019, Longboat Key is expected to begin dredging 14 of its bayside canals, a $1.2 million project that got jump started with a recent grant from Sarasota County that will cover roughly 25% of the cost and three of the targeted canals, Harborside Perimeter (Canal 33P), Longboat Club Road by the Chart House (Canal 55), and New Pass Access Canal (Canal 55A).

Michael Drake has been living next to Severns Bayou on the north end of Longboat Key for more than 20 years. Drake, president of the Longboat Key Historical Society, wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I just love it,” said Drake, who frequently takes his kayak down to the water where it is waist high. And he was pleased when he learned the town plans to dredge 14 canals next year, a project he said is sorely needed. “The tides come in and bring in silt and debris,” said Drake, adding that sand from beach renourishment projects also moves around, clogging canals.

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