LISTEN: Treasure Island Plans Emergency Dune Repairs

TREASURE ISLAND -- Going to the beach in Treasure Island will be a little more complicated for the near future.

The Pinellas beach city is about to perform emergency work on the dunes that protect a mile of beachfront along Sunset Beach.

City commissioner Beth Wetzel says Hurricane Idalia did a number on the 40-year-old dunes: "(Sand) ended up everywhere but the beach, to be frank. We've got a lot of sand in a lot of places it's not supposed to be."

Pinellas County will be overseeing the emergency restoration project. Beachfront property owners are asked to sign documents granting easements for the work no later than Thursday. Neighbors are reaching out to seasonal residents who may be out of town. The county is asking property owners not to make their own repairs, but to wait for the county instead.

Wetzel says the restoration has to meet strict environmental standards. "We can't just take sand from the parking lot and put it back on the beach... you have to have clean sand... for that dune system." The project is also required to make daily inspections to ensure sea turtle nests aren't disturbed.

Some beach parking areas are being used for staging, which will make access more difficult. Wetzel says Sunset Beach "needs a little time to heal."

This project is not related to ongoing beach renourishment efforts which use state and federal funds.

Hear more about the dune project in an interview below:

Photo: Canva

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