Gulf of Mexico
Equipment lines the shore at Cortez Beach in Bradenton Beach during a 2013 Manatee County renourishment project. Islander Photo: Courtesy AMITW

FL - Turtle watch plans season around beach renourishment

The loggerhead sea turtles that nest on Anna Maria Island could share space with bulldozers this spring and summer.

A beach renourishment project, slated to begin in April and last for six months, will overlap with sea turtle nesting season, which runs May-October on the island shoreline.

The Manatee County Board of Commissioners voted in October 2019 to approve two beach renourishment projects in 2020.

The projects replace sand lost through erosion by piping sand from an offshore seabed to the beach. The work will start at 78th Street North in Holmes Beach and continue southward to the tip of the island at Longboat Pass.

The county initially planned renourishment to start in February — lessening the intersection between the projects and sea turtle nesting season.

However, AMITW executive director Suzi Fox said she expects the project to start in April and she’s prepared a plan to work with the county and other government agencies that rely on the organization’s reports, including the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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