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Sarasota County is asking for public input into whether paddleboards, including rentals, should be allowed at county-owned beaches along with swimming.

Two meetings are scheduled for the public to sound off. Both are from 4 to 6:30 p.m.:

-- Tuesday: St. Boniface Church, 5615 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota.

-- Aug. 12: Nokomis Community Center, 234 E. Nippino Trail, Nokomis.

The idea of allowing paddleboards and rentals of the watercraft came from vendors who said they see a rising demand for the activity.

The county commission heard the proposal during a meeting March 5, and officials also discussed reducing the swimming area to allow paddleboarders at Siesta Beach.

The county has 35 miles of coastline with only six miles of county-owned beaches that are patrolled by lifeguards, according to the county site.

"Right now anyone can launch a kayak or stand-up paddleboard in hundreds of places around Sarasota County, we just want to know what people think about reducing a small portion of designated swim zones for this use," according to Tricia Wisner, business development coordinator for Sarasota County Parks and Recreation on the county website.

For more information, visit the county's website or contact the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.

Sarasota is considering allowing the use and rental of paddleboards at its beaches.

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