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Manatee County asks feds for beach nourishment post-Idalia

Idalia stole some sand.

Manatee County commissioners Sept. 12 authorized asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for federal aid to rehab Anna Maria Island’s coastline in the wake of Hurricane Idalia.

The storm, passing about 100 miles west in the Gulf of Mexico Aug. 29-30, brought wind, rain and storm surge to the barrier islands. In parts of the island, people evacuated ahead of the storm and returned to find sand-covered streets and sea oats against the foundation of their homes.

In some AMI locations after Idalia, there was more Gulf beach but at other locations, including in Bradenton Beach at John Chappie Park and Coquina and Cortez beaches, many feet of beach — up to 150 feet — were lost.

Some of the erosion occurred in federal renourishment zones and some sand was lost in non-federal project zones.

The Corps has “federally authorized and constructed beach renourishment projects damaged and destroyed by wind, wave or water action other than ordinary nature,” according to a memo to commissioners from Charlie Hunsicker, director of the parks and natural resources department.

So the county moved to ask for federal help to restore sand in federal projects.

The letter to Army Corps Lt. Col. Matthew T. Miller in the Jacksonville District, reads, in part, “The Manatee County Shore Protection Project on Anna Maria Island received damages from Hurricane Idalia. We respectfully request that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers evaluate and repair the damage to this project.”