The Legislature is considering funds to help restore the groin field on Madeira Beach, but there are significant gaps in the amount each chamber is looking to provide.
Sen. Jeff Brandes and Rep. Linda Chaney, both Pinellas County Republicans, filed requests (SF 1100, HB 2357) seeking $1.75 million from the state’s Department of Environmental Protection for Madeira Beach groin rehabilitation.
But, while including the item in the budget, neither chamber has agreed to the full requested amount. The second and latest House offer provides $875,000 to the project, while the latest Senate offer eliminates the funding, despite initially allocating $250,000 for it.
Last year, the Legislature approved $275,000 for the project.
According to the request, Madeira Beach is one of the few beaches in Pinellas County that is not part of the federally funded beach nourishment project. One of the primary reasons Madeira Beach has not needed beach nourishment is because its groin field limits coastal erosion.
Although the groins have been effective for many decades, they are showing signs of disrepair, according to the request.
The funds would be used to rehabilitate about 21 exposed groins.
“Rehabilitation to the beach groins will allow tourists and residents to continue to enjoy the beach. The groins are vital to protect against coastal erosion that is a threat to the majority of the neighboring beach communities,” according to the request. The beach hosts about 4,000 visitors a year, the request states.
The project funding may be split between state and local government to amount to $3.5 million; however, the local government has not yet guaranteed funding, according to the request.