Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. was contracted by Manatee County to replenish county beaches in the cities of Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach. The $18.7 million project took nearly three months, running Dec. 20 to March 3, 2014.
The project required eight miles of pipe, five barges and pumped 1.3 million cubic yards of sand from a borrow site one-mile off the shores of Anna Maria Island.
The beach replenishment project replaced sand naturally diminished by erosion. These photos and a feature article were published in The Islander March 26, 2014.
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Director of Parks and Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker reviews plans with Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. project manager.
Bradenton Beach Commissioner Jack Clarke stands on the deck of the dredge barge California.
The cutter is driven by a large pump housed inside the dredge barge.
The barge containing the cutter arm is connected to a barge containing a deck and the anchor.
The cutter is equipped with shovel like teeth, and spins at 35 rotations a second.
The dredge barge California sits anchored off the shore of Egmont Key. The large cutter used for agitating and sucking up sand sits above the water.
Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale stands on the deck of the California during a tour of the dredge barge.
Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. project manager speaks to city and county officials on the deck of the California.
Large poles dig into the floor of the Gulf of Mexico to anchor the barge during the project.
The deck of the barge.
Equipment sits on the deck of the dredge barge the California.
Pipes lead to a neighboring barge.
Large metal floats are used to run pipe, and raise and lower pipe into the water.
The main pump used to spin the cutter and suck sand from the seafloor occupies the majority of the space in the engine room of the barge.
A “tooth” from the cutter used to agitate sand is nearly two-feet long.
The California is one of five barges anchored in the vicinity of the borrow site. The other barges generate power and provide extra suction to move sand from the borrow site to shore.
Bradenton Beach, Fla. – Its feathers were matted with blood and a thin layer of tissue separated its small beating heart from exposure.
A harrowing two-day effort to save a badly injured screech owl produced thousands of social media responses offering well wishes, prayers and praise for the work of Wildlife Inc, even after its death.
The small eastern screech owl was rushed into Wildlife Inc. in Bradenton Beach March 11. The owl had sustained a major injury to its chest after meeting with a chainsaw.
A tree trimmer accidentally sawed the bird’s chest wide open as he sawed through a log it was hiding in. The tree trimmer immediately rushed the owl to Wildlife Inc.
“The tree trimmers are really good about it, most of them are good people,” said Gail Straight, owner of Wildlife Inc.
Wildlife Inc.’s Facebook post assured its audience the tree trimmers were animal lovers and the injury was accidental.
At Wildlife Inc., the Straights had a decision to make: whether try to save the owl, or put the animal down. Despite the injury to the chest, the owl appeared to be alert and active.
The bird went to the Island Animal Clinic the same day and Dr. Ashley Gardener performed surgery. The screech owl survived the surgery and the first night at Wildlife Inc.
“It looked like it was really going to do well. It’s such a bummer the little guy didn’t make it,” said Straight.
Wildlife Inc. announced around 2 p.m. March 11 to Facebook fans: “Unfortunately the little screech owl with the chest wound did not survive. We gave it a try and that’s all we can do. At least he died in a comfortable place on pain medication. I was really hoping he would pull through.”
However vigilant tree trimmers are, birds frequently come into Wildlife Inc. with similar injuries this time of year Straight said. This time of year is nesting season for many migratory birds. The screech owl is not a migratory bird.
To remove a nest of a migratory bird from a tree is illegal without a permit from the Florida Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It is also illegal to kill migratory birds.
Screech owls are usually heard and not seen. The small species of owl have excellent camouflage, and hide in the nooks and crannies of trees in the day. Their sound is a trilling or whinny sound.
Screech owls can be found in urban or rural settings, wherever there are trees, particularly around water.
With patience and a sharp-eye, they may be sighted at the entrance of their tree-cavity home.
This article was originally published in The Islander March 19, 2014.