September 7, 2016 | Norfolk Dredging Company’s dredge Pullen returned to New Pass on Monday, September 5th to resume dredging and sand placement operations on the south end of Longboat Key from their safe haven in Tampa Bay to escape effects of Tropical Storm Hermine. The Pullen is a 150-foot long, 40-foot wide hydraulic cutterhead-suction pipeline dredge that uses 6,500 horsepower 24” on-board pumps to pump sand and water from the channel borrow area through a pipeline onto the beach.
To date, the dredge had pumped over 109,058 cy of sand onto the Longboat Key shoreline near L’Ambiance and The Sanctuary. Surveyors are assessing the impacts of the storm on the constructed fill sections. Dredging operations occur 24 hours a day, seven days a week to complete the project as quickly as possible. The South End/New Pass beachfill operation is expected to last roughly four weeks, not including the storm delay.
Once the south end dredging and sand placement in Segment 5 is complete, dredging operations with the Pullen will move to the north end of the Key, using sand from Longboat Pass to fill two segments down to Gulfside Road (Segment 7). At the same time, a supplemental truck haul of sand for the south end of the Key (Segment 6), south of the dredge fill area, is planned for September.
Through all the activity, Mote Marine Laboratory sea turtle biologists have documented a Longboat Key record 1,184 sea turtle nests on Longboat Key this season. 201 nests have been relocated from the completed or upcoming construction areas to safe areas of the beach where construction activity will not disturb the nests. At least 504 nests have hatched, and the hatchlings reached Gulf waters.