The recently completed Lido Beach renourishment project has earned national recognition, landing on the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association’s annual list of the country’s best restored beaches. The award acknowledges community beach restoration projects around the United States that “increase a shoreline’s resiliency, the beach’s ability to mitigate storm damage and flooding from severe storms and naturally allow the beach to adjust to short-term sea level rise while remaining an important part of the nearshore ecosystem.”
The Lido Beach renourishment, a partnership between the City and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, added nearly 700,000 cubic yards of recycled sand to a 1.56-mile stretch of Lido Key, protecting critical infrastructure, properties and wildlife habitats. Two rock groins were also constructed along South Lido, helping to trap the flow of sand and reduce erosion.
Lido Beach was one of only three beaches on the list, joining two others in Florida: Upham Beach, in St. Petersburg, and St. Joseph Peninsula, in Gulf County.
“This year’s restored beach award winners represent a variety of beach types, and I congratulate them for the hard work and beautiful beaches they have protected and enhanced,” said ASBPA President Tony Pratt. “For more than 50 years, beach restoration – the process of placing beach-quality sand on dwindling beaches to reverse or offset the effects of sand loss – has been the preferred method of shore protection in coastal communities, and the original living shoreline approach to addressing coastal erosion.”
Projects were judged on three criteria: the economic and ecological benefits the beach brings to its community; short- and long-term success of the restoration project; and the challenges each community overcame during the course of the project.
“The renourishment of Lido Beach has been more than 20 years in the making, with many individuals from the City, our partner agencies and the community working through the permitting and design process and lengthy legal challenges over the years,” said Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown. “It’s been amazing to see the beach’s transformation, and we are honored to receive this recognition for what is a beloved Sarasota destination and an important economic driver for our community.”
The Lido Beach renourishment was the start of a 50-year partnership with the Army Corps that will allow the City to respond more quickly to future storm events with additional renourishments on the barrier island. The award-winning project teams will be honored during the spring 2022 ASBPA Coastal Summit. A complete list of best restored beaches awards and information on the science and policy of beach restoration are available at https://asbpa.org/about-us/awards-program.