Saving Lido Key’s Beercan Island Beach


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, September 29th, 2014 – Preservation of a quaint beach area in Long Boat Key, locally known as Beercan Island, has taken priority over a coastal protection project in its locality. This development, Sarasota Bay Real Estate reports, demonstrates the high sense of community which makes the barrier island’s neighborhoods ideal to settle in.

A threat to Beercan Island came about late last year when a state permit to build a concrete football-field-sized coast protection across its shore was granted to the town of Longboat Key.  Called groins, these structures were meant to fend off coastal erosion at the beachfront of two condos in the area.

Strong community coalition

However, their construction would have destroyed the recreational value of the Beercan Island beach, including its charming “lazy river,” a natural occurrence which has been a source of fascination for local beachgoers. The opponents of the groin building were led by Joe McClash, publisher of The Bradenton Times who served as Manatee County Commissioner for 22 years. Their ranks were bolstered later by the Sierra Club Manatee/Sarasota.

Faced with this coalition, Longboat Key officials signed this February a settlement agreement with the opposing parties. This pact restricts the type of erosion control device that can be constructed at Beercan Beach in order to keep it in its natural state.

Unhampered water-based leisure activities

Another concern that was addressed by this agreement was the threat the groins pose to fish and native wildlife, some of which were already in the list of endangered species. Shoaling or harmful erosion were likewise cited as possible adverse effects of the groin construction.

As important for boaters and sailors, the pact cleared a looming hurdle on waterflow and navigation around the area, including Longboat Key Pass. Sailing, a popular local sport and pastime, would’ve been adversely affected if the coastal protection structures were built. McClash, who is a boating aficionado himself, enthused that Manatee County taxpayers scored a major victory with the settlement, as they would’ve been unfairly deprived of a popular recreational area had the groins been built.

Direct benefits on waterfront communities

Among the bigger winners are the Long Boat Key communities near Beercan Beach, particularly those having direct water access as their amenities. Long Beach is one of these neighborhoods; it has a community boat ramp which makes Sarasota Bay and the Intercoastal Waterway easily accessible to residents.

Previous sales-listed properties around this area though relatively few were quite attractive. At the Long Beach community, there was a listing in the MLS of Sarasota real estate for sale with a tag price around the mid-$300s. This home featured two bedrooms within its floor area of 1,189 square feet.

Some upper-end properties typical of Longboat Key residences are also near Beercan Beach. At the award-winning Conrad Beach subdivision, there was a three-bedroom home placed on the market with a tag price of $1.2 million. This 2,575-square-foot residence was built in one of the biggest lots in this subdivision. A maintenance-free community, Conrad Beach is only about a block away from the Gulf of Mexico coastline whose enchanting views, no doubt, were among the inspirations in saving Beercan Island beach.