Madeira Beach business disappointed with city, state, and county officials effort to ‘Save John’s Pass’

Pinellas County

MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) – Friday there was an effort to get the sand out of John’s Pass and find a solution to the problem many have been facing for years.

City, county, and state officials met at Madeira Beach City Hall to discuss how to fix an issue impacting dozens of businesses on the boardwalk.

The meeting was closed to the public but that didn’t stop dozens from rallying outside with signs that said “Save John’s Pass.”

We spoke with the local business spearheading the effort who said the meeting didn’t go well.

“I’m frustrated beyond belief,” said Captain Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard’s Marina after Friday’s meeting.

Hubbard said they left with more questions than answers.

“There were a lot more problems brought up with the plan we set forth. Jetty’s are unobtainable, unrealistic and there were problems with lengthening the beach,” said Hubbard.

Hubbard said after 27 years of dealing with this issue they were told there has to be a study done before any action is taken.

Hubbard said for years, sand has been migrating in John’s Pass from the Gulf of Mexico.

Captain Frank Bacheler said the accumulating sand is preventing boat access.

“It’s just a matter of time before we can’t get our boats on the water,” Bacheler said.

The group has a lot of support with over 2,000 names signed on a petition as well as 40 businesses, according to Hubbard.

Those who live in the area say the sand accumulation creates a drop off that’s a safety hazard.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen. A kid swimming out there gets off that edge, goes under, he’s gone,” said Jim Normand wh lives in St.Pete and showed up to rally at Friday’s meeting.

He said the cause is worth fighting for.

“It’s building up so much sand in there that it’s going to be a hazard to people swimming out there, boaters will get crowded, manatees will get chopped up by propellers. There are so many different things that could go wrong,” said Normand.

Captain Hubbard said there’s no word when the study will begin or who will fund it. He said community support to keep this effort going will be key.

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