Above, Large chunks of rusted
pipes have scaled off
and may pose a safety problem.
SUN PHOTO/CINDY LANE
By Tom Vaught
SUN STAFF WRITERS
BRADENTON BEACH It has been nearly two months
since the renourishment contractor, Goodloe Marine,
Inc., quit the project to wait for better weather.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering granting
an official delay, searching for a subcontractor or
requiring Goodloe to finish, but has taken several weeks
to find an answer.
Now it appears to be a race consisting of man and machines
versus mother turtles with eggs to lay.
"Im getting signals that we might not get
the permits extended beyond May 1," said Rick Spadoni,
Senior Vice President of Coastal Planning and Engineering,
the consultant for the project to Manatee County. "We
might have to wait until September, if they grant the
extension at all."
Department of Environmental Protection and the Army
Corps of Engineers, expire in March. "I didnt
think it would be a problem," he said, "but
Im getting indications that it might be."
In addition, the final phase of the renourishment, which
was brought on by heavy erosion from 2004s hurricane
season, might not be funded. That portion is under a
separate contract with Goodloe, and is funded by the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The first
phase, covering the original renourishment from 2002
in Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach, is funded by the
Corps. Spadoni indicated the funds from FEMA to do the
job in the city of Anna Maria might not be available
It appears the two federal agencies are concerned that
the project will go into a second turtle nesting season.
Sea turtles are a protected species and if it does,
it might entail moving the nests to safer locations,
according to Manatee Countys Ecosystems Administrator
"They may shorten the length of time granted to
complete construction of the project unless an appropriate
safe location can be found to relocate the new turtle
nests," Hunsicker said.
Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch Director Suzi Fox said
the Corps is asking for nesting statistics from last
year, which is apparently the reason for a delay in
its decision on the future of the project.
"Im satisfied that theyre being very
cautious about the turtles," she said.
Meanwhile, there are complaints about the large pipes
left along the beach from the Manatee County Beach south
to Katie Pierola Park. Beachfront resort and rental
property owners say it is unsightly and it obstructs
access to the Gulf waters. Hunsicker said that is another
reason they hope for a quick solution to the problem,
which is brought on by rough winter storm fronts that
whip up the waves, making it impossible for Goodloe
to safely mine sand from the Gulf floor.
Another problem has been scaling of the pipes by the
salt air. There are reports that large chunks of rusty
metal have fallen off the pipes and into the sand, posing
a safety problem. Spadoni said the contractor is supposed
to take care of maintenance of the equipment and pick
up the metal and he said he would check into it.