Migrating sand building up around Tierra Verde

- Residents on the Pinellas County island of Tierra Verde have problems with sand.

Sand they believe moved from renourishment projects further north, along the Pinellas shoreline. 

The first problem involves sand blocking the Grand Canal.

"If the Grand Canal fills up, a whole marina shuts down. And all of the people on the northern end of Tierra Verde will lose their water access,"  Tierra Verde resident Morrie Goldman told FOX 13 News.

The second problem involves coyotes. Coyotes using a newly-formed land bridge replacing Shell Key Pass, which used to separate the larger island from the Shell Key Preserve. 

"Coyotes will come across the bridge, they will eat the birds, eat the nests, eat the turtles. So that's a big problem," Goldman said. 

He provided one photo of a partially-consumed pelican. FOX 13 News ran across another bird carcass Wednesday afternoon during a brief stroll across the new land bridge. 

The director of Tampa Baywatch, which is headquartered on Tierra Verde, said he hopes popularity will build around his idea for a potential solution to the area's problems with sand.

"Our recommendation would be to work with the Army Corps of Engineers, who's renourishing the beaches to the north, to come down, take the stand that has been accumulating in the past, and use that as part of their beach renourishment projects to the north,"  Director Peter Clark told FOX 13 News.

That idea will be discussed at a community meeting Thursday evening at 6 p.m. at Tampa Baywatch. Experts will be on hand to explain what is known about the process that choked Sand Key Pass, and now threatens the Grand Canal. 

Goldman suspects solutions won't be as easy to agree upon as Clark hopes.

"It's a governmental problem, and it's not one government body, it's three," he said, referring to county, state and federal agencies involved. "They don't get along, they have different goals, and that's made it very, very difficult to get a solution here."

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