Pinellas County is a peninsula with 35 miles of sandy beaches on 11 barrier islands. The sand is what attracts visitors from throughout the world and is vital to our way of life and our economy. The long-term management of the county's coastline involves shore protection programs, dune enhancements, monitoring and extensive partnering with beach communities, and state and federal agencies.
There are 12 beach municipalities on the Pinellas County barrier islands. They are responsible for short-term maintenance such as raking and cleaning, swim buoys and local ordinances regarding the use of the beaches.
Benefits of Beach Nourishment
Prior to beach nourishment, many beach municipalities had thin, non-protective beaches or no beach at all. Over successive nourishments, the beaches from Clearwater to St. Pete Beach have been built up with an additional 10 million cubic yards of sand. The preservation of the beaches is essential in maintaining the quality of life that residents value and which attracts visitors throughout the year:
Beach nourishment projects in Pinellas County are typically funded 60% from the federal government (Army Corps), 20% from state government (Florida Department of Environmental Protection) and 20% by Pinellas County (Tourist Development Tax). One half of 1% of the tourist development tax is set aside annually for beach projects, generating nearly $4 million per year.