To Our Valued Siesta Key Association Members and residents of Siesta Key
You may have learned in local news that the Administrative Hearing of our Challenge to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (FDEP) Notice of Intent to issue a Permit to Dredge Big Pass, which was scheduled for the last two weeks of August, has been delayed. The Judge granted a Continuance for FDEP after their lead attorney sustained an injury requiring surgery. We anticipate the Hearing will be held sometime after October 18, 2017. While this unexpected event prolongs the demanding and expensive process, we don’t expect that it will adversely affect our chances for ultimate success.
As we were preparing for the Administrative Hearing, we learned that the Army Corps has estimated that significantly increased wave action (nearly 80%) is likely when the shoal protections that now exist in Big Pass are dredged. This increased wave action will have a significant adverse impact on South Lido Key, Southwest Bird Key, North Siesta Key and Bay Island if serious storms occur. We found this in the Army Corps’ own documents!
We need your support for the legal proceedings still ahead. Even though we have been able to conserve our financial resources by sharing legal expertise and costs with SOSS2, funds are still needed as we proceed through the, now delayed, Hearing. Imagine the expense involved when testimony from expert witnesses for two Government Agencies, the City of Sarasota, three Associations and the presence of at least eight Attorneys is required over the course of the two-week Hearing.
We are so thankful for your generosity and continued expressions of support for our legal challenge. Your tax-deductible donations to the Siesta Key Environmental Defense Fund and words of encouragement remind us how strong and effective we can be in protecting Siesta Key. In 1993 and 1994, with strong financial support from our Members, SKA successfully challenged an Army Corps’ proposal to dredge 1.9 million cubic yards of sand from Big Pass and forced them to find an alternative source of sand. We used the same legal team then as we’re using now and, with your support, we are confident we can once again prevent irreversible damage that will be caused by dredging Big Pass.
PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING ANY AMOUNT. The “Friends of Siesta Key Matching Fund” is only $5500 from meeting our goal! This translates to $3.92 PER MEMBER to REACH OUR GOAL! The “Friends” fund will match up to $10,000, resulting in a total of $20,000 to protect Siesta Key. That means for every $1 you donate, SKEDF will receive $2. Please go to our Siesta Key Environmental Defense Fund site http://skedf.org/ to make your donation and receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donation.
With gratitude for your continued spirit and support,
Catherine Luckner Vice President, Siesta Key Association