Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Environmentalists object to Hernando Beach dredging project's spoils site

BROOKSVILLE — A coalition of environmental groups has written to Gov. Charlie Crist and other federal, state and local officials to oppose the use of the county's first choice of a spoils site for the Hernando Beach Channel dredging project.

The group, which includes Audubon of Florida, the Gulf Coast Conservancy, the Gulf Restoration Network and the Nature Coast Sierra Club, cites environmental concerns about use of the Eagle Nest Drive site owned by the Cliff Manuel family.

"We have serious concerns that the original (permit) and the Eagle Nest Drive/Manuel property disposal site will negatively impact wetlands, will cause coastal ecosystem degradation and will negatively affect state resources like the Minnow Creek, Seagrass Canal and Mullet Canal,'' they wrote.

The housing development planned at the site after the dredged materials are placed there, the letter states, would be "environmentally damaging.'' The groups question whether local, state and federal rules and policies would be violated by a development in an area at risk to damage from high winds and flooding during a major storm.

The group urges the county to dump the material on an alternative site on Shoal Line Boulevard, which used to be a county wastewater treatment plant. The state Department of Environmental Protection last week issued its pre-permit for the county to use that alternative site.

The DEP previously had issued a pre-permit for the controversial Eagle Nest Drive site, but residents challenged that site. Their challenge comes before an administrative law judge in a hearing next week.

The Hernando County Commission met behind closed doors Tuesday to discuss their litigation strategy for those hearings with the new attorney they retained to help them, Richard Brightman of the Tallahassee law firm of Hopping, Green & Sams, P.A.

Because of the specific rules that govern what can be discussed in a closed-door meeting, County Administrator David Hamilton said the group only talked about the Eagle Nest Drive site because it is the site facing the legal challenge. While Manuel's attorney Jake Varn has said that there are some who will challenge the Shoal Line site, no formal challenge has been made.

County officials are moving ahead with both sites so that they can get at least one permitted in time to bid the project in March. The project must be bid by March to finish it in time to collect $6-million in state money for the $9-million dredging project.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at or (352) 848-1434.

Environmentalists object to Hernando Beach dredging project's spoils site 01/21/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 6:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees


    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact


    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.