Pinellas Beach Restoration Begins Soon

TAMPA (2010-7-26) -

Works starts soon on three Pinellas County beaches that are scheduled to be replenished with sand. Officials say the oil spill means that timing is critical.

Right now, experts predict a very low probability of oil washing up on Pinellas shores. That means beach renourishment can go ahead -- and the sooner the better. Andy Squires, the County's Coastal Manager, says the DEP will shut down the $5.2 million dollar project if the beach or the borrow sand become tainted.

"Oil's a huge concern," says Squires. "We're hoping we can get this all done before any oil shows up."

Funding the for project comes from a mix of federal, state and local dollars. It's a recurring expense, because these beaches require more sand every three to four years.
But Squires called the return on investment tremendous, affecting property values, tourism and jobs.

Work is slated to start the beginning of August and wrap up by mid-December. The beaches involved are Sunshine beach and Sunset beach on Treasure Island, and Upham beach on the north end of St. Pete Beach.

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