PORT CHARLOTTE — ManaSota-88 has formally requested a public hearing regarding the proposed marina project by Sunseeker Florida, Inc.

Sunseeker Florida recently submitted a permit application to the Army Corps of Engineers for the construction of a 182-slip, 58,865-square-foot floating dock marina facility in Charlotte Harbor.

The proposed marina is situated adjacent to the 785-room hotel constructed by Allegiant Travel Co. at 4949 Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte. Sunseeker Resort, nearing completion but facing delays due to adverse weather and a shortage of workers, is expected to open its doors in late 2023.

The Army Corps is accepting public comments on the marina project until October 25.

The permit outlines the construction requirements, including an estimated 126 steel-pipe piles and 80 wood-fender piles. Additionally, a 2.2-acre fixed, rubble breakwater structure is proposed south of the marina, with an anticipated discharge of approximately 22,923 cubic yards of sand/rock material. The marina and entrance channel will require dredging of approximately 117,200 cubic yards of material. The site comprises open water and an estuarine system.

However, according to ManaSota-88 Director Glenn Compton, a single request for a public hearing may not suffice. Compton emphasized that the Army Corps of Engineers typically holds public hearings when there is substantial public interest, urging individuals to express their concerns through emails to encourage a local hearing. Such a hearing would enable community members to voice their concerns regarding the impact on local estuaries, especially those involved in water quality testing, healing waters projects, and those advocating for clean water estuaries.

Compton underscored the importance of the public’s right to question the necessity and appropriateness of such a large marina in the area, emphasizing the need for answers and potentially exploring alternative site options.

In the request for a hearing, ManaSota-88 highlighted several concerns, including the adequacy of the proposed mitigation by Sunseeker, potential adverse cumulative impacts from boating activities, environmental repercussions of the influx of recreational boats during winter, and the threat to the long-term health of Charlotte Harbor due to previous improper boat operations. The group also expressed worries about the proposed dredging’s effect on sediment resuspension and the conservation of fish, wildlife, and their habitats in the vicinity of the marina.

To provide public input or request a hearing, individuals are encouraged to contact project manager Michael Ornella II at the Fort Myers Permits Section, 701 San Marco Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32207, or via email at Michael.Ornella@usace.army.mil.