Pinellas to start beach renourishment at Pass-a-Grille

A row of brightly colored adirondack chairs line a beach cost with palm trees in the background and a blue sky.
Pinellas County will begin dredging the Grand Canal and placing sand at Pass-a-Grille Beach on June 3. Parts of the beach will be closed at contractors work on the months-long project. Photo by Aida Sarsenova for WMNF News (May 2024)

Pinellas County will start a months-long project to refill the shoreline at Pass-a-Grille Beach on June 3.

The sand will come from the Grand Canal.

The Pass-a-Grille Beach nourishment project is split into two phases: first work will start on the south section of the beach, and once completed, then work will begin on the north side.

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Each section will take a few months to complete, during which that section of the beach will be temporarily closed.

Pinellas County Coastal Management Coordinator John Bishop spoke to reporters about the project near Paradise Grille on Wednesday.

“We need to try and get as much protection as we can, prior to the next storm season since it’s supposed to be a very active storm season,” he said. “So I think this is very well timed.”

The work begins just three days after hurricane season begins. One that forecasters said will be “very, very busy.”

Jan Martin relocated to the Pinellas beaches in 2020. She has doubts about the project’s effectiveness.

Its probably not a good idea because you’re gonna have to go back out and do it again,” Martin said. “Because (the sand will) go back out.”

But Bishop said it’s vital to get the sand placed now to protect the coast against the next big storm.

This project really has to happen now,” he said. “It may be peak season, but it’s also before the hurricane season.”

The renourishment should take about 4 to 5 months for both sections of the beach. Approximately 140,000 cubic yards of sand will be placed on the shoreline. Once complete, the beach will be about 165 feet wide.

Bishop said that was the width in 2014, but erosion has narrowed the width to about 20 feet. Even less in some places.

He added that contractors are being mindful of sea turtle nests as well. Workers will monitor the beach and safely relocate any nests they find.

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater CEO Brian Lowack told reporters the project is vital to tourism in the area as well.

We know that our visitors come down here for America’s best beaches – this being one of them. But also for our local residents,” he said. “It’s because of those visitors that continue to come visit our beaches that we can invest those tourist development tax dollars into keeping our beaches pristine.”

Pinellas County Commissioners allocated $4.4. million for the project on Tuesday, but officials said the total cost of the project will be roughly $6 million.



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