UPDATE — On August 20, 2014, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved funding to support an independent peer review of the most recent Army Corps of Engineers proposal.
During the budget hearing, Laird Wreford, Coastal Resource Manager for Sarasota County focused initially on needed evaluation of impact for the South Lido County Park. The impact issues arose after SKA provided historical data surrounding the purchase of the land using federal funds in 1973. These federally funded grants were to purchase land to "maintain open spaces and recreational use by the public forever in their natural state." See attached article Lido and City of Sarasota Fight Dredge and Fill...A Time Capsule.
The independent peer review will be chosen from a library of existing approved Coastal Resource Engineers who are not dependent on the Army Corps of Engineers funding. The focus and method will be a review and interpretation of the project scope, methods and professional opinion, not a "repeat" of the Army Corps's specific studies.
In addition, SKA advocated with the city and county staff to remedy the existing damage from Tropical Storm Debby in 2012. The shoreline damage has worsened since the original permit was approved. The original approved FEMA repair does not have sufficient funds or sand allocated to complete the repairs. Our hope is that a modified project, scheduled to be initiated after turtle nesting season 2014, will ease the critical urgency and provide relief as the larger Lido Key ACOE plan is reviewed.
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