July 28, 2016
Lights out for sea turtles! With a record sea turtle nesting season, the time has come for hatchlings to begin emerging onto the beach at night. Lights from upland areas can disorient the hatchlings and prevent them from reaching the Gulf.
The Central Key truck haul, Segments 1-4, is complete.
Beginning the week of August 8th the dredging contractor, Norfolk Dredging Company, will begin mobilizing equipment and pipe to the south end of Longboat Key to commence construction of Segment 5, the New Pass Dredging and Beach Nourishment Project. The dredge is expected to arrive August 15th. The dredging project from the New Pass channel borrow area will deliver sand to the southern L’Ambiance boundary and begin building the beach northward to Regent Place (approx.).
Norfolk Dredging Company’s dredge Pullen is a hydraulic cutterhead-suction pipeline dredge, approximately 150 ft in length and 40 ft wide. The dredge will use its 6,500 horsepower 24” on-board pumps to pump sand and water from the channel borrow area through a pipeline to the beach. No additional booster pumps will be used. Dredging operations will be occurring 24/7 to complete this work as quickly as possible.
Once the south end dredging and sand placement in Segment 5 is complete, the dredging operations with the Pullen will move to the north end of the Key, using sand from Longboat Pass to fill two segments down to Gulfside Road. This work will commence in September after Labor Day. At the same time, a supplemental truck haul of sand for the south end of the key, south of the dredge fill area, is planned for September.
Through all the activity, Mote Marine Laboratory sea turtle biologists have documented a Longboat Key record 1,077 sea turtle nests on Longboat Key this season. 192 nests have been relocated from the completed or upcoming construction areas to safe areas of the beach where construction activity will not disturb the nests. At least 57 nests have hatched, and the hatchlings reached Gulf waters.
Personnel from Sauers Environmental Management continue to monitor for shorebirds, which are mating and nesting along the Longboat Key shoreline.