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Public Beach — the acknowledged top tour- ism draw in the county — will suffer. "We've been asking for months for some- one from the Corps to come and meet with someone other than city [officials]," Jono Miller, an environmental advocate and a for- mer environmental studies instructor at New College, told the News Leader after the after- noon workshop on July 23. (Miller recently retired from the New College faculty.) "This is the first time they have shown up and shared their expertise and answered questions. This is a big breakthrough." Although the workshops were a "good step," Miller would like to see an in-depth analysis of the impacts of the project. "I wish they would commit to an environmental impact study." Rob Patten, another environmental advocate and former Sarasota County ecologist, still has questions, too. "This project is one of the largest environmental public works projects ever done in Sarasota County, so it deserves as much scrutiny as it is getting," Patten said. Sarasota City Engineer DavisShaw told meet- ing attendees that the Army Corps has been working on models to show how the plans will affect both Lido and Siesta. "We would not be moving forward with a project if we thought there would be any negative impacts," she said. "We want to protect Lido while ensuring the beauty of Siesta." CONCERNS ON TWO BEACHES Peter van Roekens, a Siesta resident and boat- ing advocate, is another person with lingering concerns about the plan. The Army Corps "is determined" to see this project through, van Roekens said, but he has "a list of questions." After Wednesday's workshop, van Roekens A resident asks a question during the July 23 workshop held by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Sarasota News Leader July 25, 2014 Page 32

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