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Bridgeless island access studied by Charlotte County; survey available

December 29, 2023
By Garland Pollard

Charlotte County is conducting a formal feasibility survey to determine the need for access to the bridgeless barrier islands including Palm Island, Little Gasparilla Island, Don Pedro Island and Knight Island/Thornton Key.

Currently there are a mix of private ferries to and from the islands. Palm Island has a privately run scheduled ferry, Palm Island Transit, as well as regular pedestrian shuttle service by boat to Rum Bay. There is also a private ferry to Hideaway Bay Beach Club. There is also Pirate’s Water Taxi, which is a passenger ferry that leaves from Eldred’s. The taxi is available every day.

The survey, according to Project Manager Jenny Buccieri of the Facilities Construction & Maintenance Department, was initiated by a small group of citizens interested in exploring alternative/additional means of access to/from their bridgeless barrier islands. The purpose is to “seek input from residents and interested parties in the community to determine the need for additional mode(s) of access for people, goods and/or services between Charlotte County’s bridgeless barrier islands and the mainland.” 

The project will be conducted in two phases. The first phase is the public citizen input. The second is a feasibility study.

“As with any citizen request, we have initiated the Bridgeless Barrier Island Accessibility Study to explore the needs of all citizens that would have a direct impact from any decisions made,” said Buccieri in an email to the Beacon. “That being said, this study goes out to all Charlotte County citizens, but is particularly focused on obtaining the input from residents and interested parties of Charlotte County’s bridgeless barrier islands.”

They are currently planning for the first public citizen input meeting of Phase 1 and anticipate more input gathering during the coming months. A meeting on January 11 will seek the input of the same questions that are part of their online survey, while also allowing attendees to provide additional open comments and interaction with staff and consultants.

The public input event will be held January 11 at the Mac V. Horton West County Annex, 6868 San Casa Drive, Englewood between 11:30 -1:30 to provide input and ask questions.

There is also a survey online that closes January 26, available at

For information, contact Project Manager Jenny Buccieri at or 941-743-1995.