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Venice Beach renourishment project to begin this fall

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VENICE, Fla. -- Another beach renourishment project is on the agenda for a Suncoast beach. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is heading up the third renourishment project of Venice Beach and just confirmed they have received nearly $10 million of federal funds to move forward with the project.

They plan to dredge over 3 miles of shoreline, spanning from the south jetty to the municipal fishing pier.

This beach is an oasis for many snowbirds and former residents of the north. Many say the beach is what made them make the Suncoast their home, and believe that steps need to be taken to protect that attraction.

20 years ago, the City of Venice partnered with the Corps of Engineers to save the drastically eroded shoreline by pumping nearly 2 million cubic yards of sand onto the beach. The city made a 50 years agreement with the Corps to renourish every 10 years, with the last renourishment in 2005.

The sand is pumped from a borrow area about 9 miles south of the beach. "We have four areas that have been designated as locations we're taking from. They're offshore, and then sand is then pumped in and placed on the beach."

"As long as they take sand from the ocean and put it back on the beach, I'm fine with it; because it's maintaining an attraction, a natural resource and a place for people to enjoy life."

The Corps secured $9.6 million from the federal government to renourish, and the remaining $3 million will be split between the state and city. "The city has been putting aside $250,000 a year, plus we'll be getting money from the tourist development tax."

Residents we spoke with say they are not concerned about the cost. "It's good to renourish the beaches, because it brings tourism here. I think they get their money back tenfold."

The project manager with the Corps of Engineers says they plan to begin the dredge in the fall of this year, due to turtle nesting season. It would then take about 2-3 months to renourish.