Water-Related News

Tierra Verde’s Grand Canal needs major dredging. Who will pay for it?

As nearby residents grow frustrated with the deteriorating canal, a patchwork of state and federal approvals could put off the sand dredging until 2023.

The Tierra Verde Grand Canal is filling up with sand.

The water flow has slowed in the waterway snaking along the marina, condos and private homes that make up the quiet community. A gated community built along the water now has a private beach that has sprouted since 2018. For years, residents along the canal have called on the county to speed up a dredging process that would clear it of sand. The dredging itself would take about three months.

But the timeline for the project may take until 2023, Kelli Levy, Pinellas County’s public works director said during Thursday’s Board of Commissioners meeting.

A flurry of state regulations, funding sources and feasibility studies makes the process long and complicated — there are more than a dozen checkpoints before the county can apply for state and federal permits, which then could take 13 months to process.

“I’ve heard a lot about ‘can we hurry this up’” said Levy. “And we can to a point. But there are a lot of permitting hurdles to dredging out a new project like this.”