MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. — Madeira Beach Mayor John Hendricks warns that John's Pass is filling in with sand from beach renourishment projects and it has created a dangerous situation at the number one tourist destination in Pinellas County.

"The pass is getting narrower. So, the currents are getting stronger," said Mayor Hendricks. "We've got so much boat traffic... it's just a dangerous situation all the way around."

What You Need To Know

  • Madeira Beach Mayor John Hendricks issues warning about sand from beach renourishment

  • Hendricks says the pass is getting more narrow due to the added sand

  • Beach is blocking part ofthe north end of the pass in front of the village

The sizable beach has blocked the north end of the pass in front of the village. Mayor Hendricks said some boat slips have been lost to the sand and it's also blocking storm drains.

"This whole beach area used to be water," he said. "When you went up to the boardwalk, you were looking down at water." 

Hendricks said visitors have been using the newly created beach for fishing and swimming in the treacherous water. Last year, Captain Dylan Hubbard had to rescue an 8-year-old boy who was being swept into the Gulf of Mexico.

"Luckily, one of our charter boats happened to be sitting there ready to rock and roll and we were able to cruise just past the bridge and pluck the young gentleman out of the water," he said. "No one should be swimming inside of John's Pass from this beach but a lot of people do."

Mayor Hendricks said the sand is coming from beach renourishment projects in other Pinellas coastal towns.

"Madeira Beach has never had renourishment on its beaches," he said. "The problem is all the renourishment from the beaches north of us is washing this way."

The Mayor hopes the Army Corps of Engineers will help the beach town dredge John's Pass, lengthen the jetties and install new groins along the Madeira Beach coastline that will trap sand.

"We really need some financial help on getting these things done," said Hendricks. "Preferably getting the Corp of Engineers to take over John's Pass as a part of the intracoastal waterway and on a constant basis keep it up."

Hendricks said the city is trying to raise $30,000 for a University of South Florida study of the sand problem.