Make us your home page
Instagram

Florida beach nourishment gets funded after all

A program prized by Pinellas tourism businesses escaped Gov. Rick Scott's veto pen.

After pledging earlier this year to cut any new state funding to pump sand onto Florida's eroding beaches, Scott let stand $16 million the Legislature approved for beach nourishment in the state.

Without the new funding, millions of dollars in federal matching funds would have been axed as well, said state Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Seminole. That would leave two local projects, Treasure Island and Upham Beach, dead in the water.

Scott's proposed budget included no new money for building up any of Florida's 825 miles of beaches. He said the state Department of Environmental Protection had $75 million from previous years that it hadn't spent yet.

But critics said the money was already committed to nourishment projects, such as pumping new sand to bolster a stretch from Sand Key south to Indian Rocks Beach.

Jones says Scott staffers dropped their opposition after learning the unexpended funds were already in the pipeline for ongoing projects. Scott's press office didn't respond Monday to requests to explain the governor's change of heart. The $16 million in next year's state budget money will grow to about $60 million with matching federal dollars, said Jones.

A Florida Atlantic University study in 2003 reported that each state dollar spent protecting Florida beaches that have public access prevents the loss of $8 in state taxes paid by out-of-state tourists and residents using the beaches.

"Sand is to Florida what snow is to Colorado,'' said Jones.

Boosters of the Sand Key project got more good news this week. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers came up with enough money to complete the entire job in one year instead of splitting it into two yearlong projects, said Indian Shores Mayor Jim Lawrence in an e-mail Monday to members of the county's Tourist Development Council.

Contact Steve Huettel at [email protected] or (813) 226-3384.

Florida beach nourishment gets funded after all 06/06/11 [Last modified: Monday, June 6, 2011 10:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay small businesses give Tampa B+ for regulatory climate

    Corporate

    In a recent survey about small business sentiments toward state and local government policies that affect them, Tampa Bay ranked at No. 25 out of 80 — a B+ overall.

    Tampa Bay ranked No. 25 out of 80 in a recent survey about how small business owners feel about state and local government policies that affect them. | [Times file photo]
  2. Seminole Heights restaurants face struggles amid killings, post-Irma

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The neighborhood's hip circle of popular, well-regarded restaurants is feeling the squeeze in the wake of a recent killing spree. And the timing is rough.

    Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe has been taking precautions in light of the Seminole Heights killings: keeping the lights on all night and having employees walk to their cars in groups.
  3. St. Pete-Clearwater holding food, supply drive for hurricane refugees

    Airlines

    CLEARWATER — St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Allegiant Air are holding a food and supply drive for the Hispanic Outreach Center in Pinellas County. The event, which will benefit refugees displaced by Hurricane Maria, will be held Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the airport at 14700 Terminal Blvd.

    St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Allegiant Air are hosting a food and supplies drive Tuesday for refugees displaced by Hurricane Maria. | [Times file photo]
  4. Tallest building in Pinellas County in search of a new name

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — The name "Priatek" is gone from Pinellas County's tallest building, perhaps to be replaced by that of a much better-known company new to the Tampa Bay area.

    The Priatek name is off of downtown St. Petersburg's tallest building.
 [LARA CERRI  |   Times.  2015]
  5. Estuary wins pier design contest for the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway extension

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — And the winner is… Estuary.

    Voters overwhelmingly supported a pier design called Estuary for the $200-million extension of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in Tampa.
[Courtesy of AECOM]