Anna Maria renourishment project resumes

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ANNA MARIA ISLAND, Fla. - Just a few weeks ago we brought you the report on the start of the beach re-nourishment project for Anna Maria Island beaches. But due to the cold, windy weather earlier this week, the $12 million project had to be put on hold.

The dredging has started back up again though. Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources tell ABC 7 that after nearly a week of putting a hold on the sand pumping process, the contractors started at around 10pm Wednesday.

The Suncoast's version of the polar vortex was the cause of the dredge pause, as foot seas prevented them from pumping sand for nearly a week. Officials say since they began 3 weeks ago, they have been pumping sand 24 hours a day from the dredge that is located offshore north of Holmes Beach.

The renourishment is for recreational purposes, storm protection, and to create a safe habitat for sea turtles. The federally-funded project is being dredged by contractors Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, who already built in down time for weather conditions, especially since it is the winter season.

Officials say since they started pumping again Wednesday evening, they have already pumped more than 300 feet of sand.