This year’s renourishment project started July 8th by 78th St in Holmes Beach with the new beach being well under way. Due to storms and natural erosion this procedure is necessary every few years. This is the 5th time after the initial project in 1992. Altogether 5.5 miles of the 7 mile island beaches will get new sand and with the construction crew working on a 24-hour, 7-day a week schedule. Currently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is rebuilding the beach by the Manatee Public Beach area.
The sand for the Holmes Beach renourishment project comes from an offshore borrow area which is located about 2000 feet of the North end of Anna Maria Island. A hydraulic cutter suction dredge picks up the sand that is then pumped through a submerged pipeline to the beach and connects to the shore pipeline which runs parallel to the water line on dry sand. Portions of the beach up to 1000 feet will be closed during active construction that may restrict the public from traversing along the shoreline but there are is a pedestrian walkway near the dunes that you can walk laterally past the beach closure to get to open beach
When the water-sand mix arrives through the pipeline, bulldozers move it to fill in the designated areas. The heavy activity in front of a beach front property is not expected to last longer than a few days depending on the working conditions which can be influenced by weather, mechanical repair or environmental requirements.
The project will continue through Mid November. The approximate scheduled locations are:
- August 10 – 38th Street/Second Pipeline Reconfiguration
- October 1 – 4th Street/Third Pipeline Reconfiguration
- October 31 – Project completion at Longboat Pass
The cost of the project is covered by conventional state and federal funding mechanisms for the County’s beach nourishment and also partly with state and federal funding to replace sand loss from Hurricanes Hermine and Irma.
The Anna Maria island Turtle Watch relocated all loggerhead nests that were in the way for the renourishment project. They are now clustered in a beach area of Anna Maria City on the Northern end of the island that is not affected by the project. The eggs should not be harmed and hatchlings will emerge after about 60 days of being laid.