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During their Feb. 4 meeting, the members of the Bay Island-Siesta Association (BISA) Board of Directors unanimously voted to join the Siesta Key Association (SKA), the Siesta Key Village Association and the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce in opposition to the dredging of Big Pass as proposed by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for the renour- ishment of Lido Key, BISA President Tommy Vaughan-Birch has announced. The BISA represents all of the residents on Bay Island and those who reside in the city of Sarasota on the north end of Siesta Key, a news release points out. "Many of the assumptions regarding this [Lido renourishment] project are questionable," the release says. "Unintended consequences of mining the sand bank that protects and nourishes Siesta Key seem to be an unjusti- fied risk." Army Corps staff working out of the agency's Jacksonville office have been collaborating with City of Sarasota staff on a 50-year renour- ishment proposal that includes not only the first dredging of Big Pass ever undertaken but also the construction of three groins on the southern end of Lido Key to keep as much of the 1.1 million cubic yards of sand added onto Lido in place. Subsequent renourishments have been planned for every five years, with sand taken from Big Pass and New Pass. The Army Corps has told city and Sarasota County staff it expects late this month to release modeling and analysis of the project's impact on Big Pass and Siesta's beaches. Sarasota Big Pass lies between Siesta and Lido keys. File photo FOURTH SIESTA GROUP ANNOUNCES OPPOSITION TO DREDGING NEWS BRIEFS

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