Water-Related News

Pinellas Sand Key beach renourishment project in peril

A once-brushed-over provision of the project is now putting the Sand Key Beach Renourishment Project in doubt.

Along a 9-mile stretch of Pinellas County, the federal Sand Key Shore Protection Project provides a lifeline for the shrinking beaches from just south of the Clearwater Pass to the northern tip of Redington Beach. Every five to seven years the Army Corps of Engineers hires a contractor to pump in sand to replace what has eroded away.

But a once-brushed-over provision of the project that the Army Corps is now emphasizing puts the Sand Key project in doubt. If Pinellas County does not get perpetual easements from 100 percent of the private properties that border the project, the Army Corps will skip each cycle until all 461 easements are signed. For years, the county only collected easements for areas where sand would be replaced — which varies based on need.