The beach nourishment project team is closely watching the increasing wave and tidal surge conditions created by Tropical Storm Colin. The storm will create rough surf along the Longboat Key shoreline at least through Tuesday, June 7, and will affect sand placement, sea turtle nests and shorebird nests.
Beach construction continues to move quickly along Segment 3, which is over 70 percent complete. (See construction photos below.) Sand placement is now at Bayport, progressing southward to Beach Harbor Club (3810 Gulf of Mexico Drive) and Gulfshore (3743 Gulf of Mexico Drive). Barring storm delays, work in this segment is expected to reach the construction access at Gulfshore/Buttonwood Cove (3710 Gulf of Mexico Drive) by the week of June 13. Operations will then move southward from the same access point to the 2900 block of Gulf of Mexico drive, north of the public access at 2825 Gulf of Mexico Drive.
Since the project started in April, over 186,000 tons of sand have been delivered by truck to Longboat Key, accounting for approximately 60 percent of the total truck tonnage estimated for the project.
The sea turtle nesting season is ramping up. Mote Marine Laboratory sea turtle biologists have documented 196 sea turtle nests on Longboat Key, and over 35 nests have been relocated from upcoming construction areas to safe areas of the beach where construction activity will not disturb the nests.
Shorebirds also are mating and nesting along the Longboat Key shoreline, and monitoring personnel from Sauers Environmental Monitoring have marked and fenced off shorebird nesting and fledging areas along the southern end of the project. Evaluations of these nest areas will be performed after Tropical Storm Colin passes. The project boundaries may be adjusted to avoid these areas.
Generally, the truck haul operates 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with sand hauling trucks traversing the beach in both directions, escorted by ATV for safety. Please pardon the interruption while we work to enhance the beach.