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Manatee County readies for beach renourishment in 2020

Anna Maria Island’s beaches wouldn’t be so impressive without a little bit of help.

The sandy shores people know and love in Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach are the product of a noisy necessity: beach renourishment.

Charlie Hunsicker, director of the Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department, said nothing can be done to abate the noise caused by equipment — which he described as akin to the sound of a waterfall — but the benefits outweigh the costs.

“If we forego our beach renourishment programming because it’s too noisy, we’d end up with no beach at all,” he said in an interview Jan. 2 with The Islander.

Beach renourishment is the practice of replacing sand lost through erosion, often by jetting a slushie of oceanwater and sand from an offshore seabed to the beach via a pipeline.

Renourishment restores beaches and prevents erosion from damaging coastal infrastructure.

Renourishment is intended to save property and property values from damage caused by erosion.

Hunsicker said the island shoreline suffers from 10-12 feet of erosion every year, which must be countered with renourishment.

Three projects are planned this year to rebuild the beaches from 79th Street in Holmes Beach southward to Longboat Pass.