Renourishment project on Turtle Beach to help repair erosion

ABC7 News at 11pm
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 8:09 PM EST
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SIESTA KEY, Fla. (WWSB) - Years of hurricanes and storms have taken a toll on Turtle Beach.

Erosion continues to plague the popular South Siesta Key destination. There are now plans to truck in more than 92,000 cubic yards of sand from Central Florida. That will be more than 4,600 truckloads. And that is concerning for residents.

“To put it in perspective, that’s one truck every four minutes for eight hours a day, five days a week for two months,” said Bob Luckner, Director of the Siesta Key Association. That’s just a lot of traffic layered on top of seasonal tourist traffic.”

Residents addressing those concerns with Sarasota County officials during a Siesta Key Association meeting on Thursday. Beachgoers say it’s something that has to be done because of the shape the beach is in.

“I’m sure it’s going to be a huge inconvenience for a period of time while they transition to bring more sand in to restore the beach,” said Warren Dungen, a Turtle Beach visitor. “The short term inconvenience will be a big benefit for people in the long run.”

FEMA will cover around 75 percent of the 5-million-dollar project. State funds should cover the remaining costs. Luckner says Turtle Beach is a very important tourist destination that’s also frequented by many locals.

“It’s important for it to look good, be safe and we’re very supportive of that,” said Luckner.

The Turtle Beach repair project is expected to get underway on March 1. Officials say it should be finished by the end of April.