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March 31, 2023 | In The News

Briefing held to discuss Midnight Pass re-opening

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) – Rep. Greg Steube and Sarasota County leaders held a virtual briefing on Thursday, March 30, to discuss the status and steps needed to re-open Midnight Pass in Sarasota County.

Prior to 1984 Little Sarasota Bay was open to the Gulf of Mexico. The opening pass seperated Casey Key and Siesta Key. It was known as Midnight Pass and it allowed fresh ocean water to flow freely into Little Sarasota Bay, flushing out debris and maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

Unfortunately, Midnight Pass was closed off by human intervention in 1984, when the Army Corp of Engineers formed the Intracoastal Waterways, sealing off Little Sarasota Bay from the ocean Gulf. Since that time there has been a longstanding controversy over this small strip of land, particularly regarding the devastating effects it has had on the local ecosystem.

Local leaders who participated in the briefing include Spencer Anderson, County Public Works Director and Rob Lewis, County Director of Government Relations.

“Reopening Midnight Pass would bring a series of positive improvements to Little Sarasota Bay – from both a water quality standpoint and a healthier environment for wildlife, homeowners on the bay, and visitors,” said Rep. Greg Steube. “My office stands ready to assist our local leadership in jumpstarting a critical project that will make a real difference in Sarasota County. We are prepared to be a partner at the federal level as we navigate the many federal and state agencies involved in the unique nature of opening an inlet and restoring the bay to a marine system.”