MAKING WAVES

Making Waves is our salute to the res­i­dents, busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions of Southwest Florida’s is­land coast who make the com­mu­nity spe­cial

RSWLiving - - DEPARTMENTS - BY CRAIG GAR­RETT

Cel­e­brat­ing Southwest Florid­i­ans

Ex­pect re­lief in key spots along south Lee County beaches and in­lets. Dredg­ing bids for work in the Big Car­los Pass and the New Pass ar­eas were let in Septem­ber; work to open in­lets choked with sand should fin­ish by year’s end, of­fi­cials with the West Coast In­land Nav­i­ga­tional District, or WCIND, re­port. Drift­ing sand in chan­nels and the passes make them shal­lower, or pinched, af­fect­ing nav­i­ga­tion, wa­ter flow and marine life, says Justin McBride, the WCIND’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor. Prop­erty own­ers had also com­plained pinched in­lets lower values. Dredg­ing and broad widen­ing will re­lieve the chan­nels for up to three years. “Sand just moves around,” McBride says.

The West Coast In­land Nav­i­ga­tional District was es­tab­lished in 1947 to as­sist the U.S. Army Corps of Engi­neers. A small prop­erty as­sess­ment in Lee and three sur­round­ing coun­ties funds the agency.

Most Gulf Coast com­mu­ni­ties face sim­i­lar is­sues. The Cap­tiva Ero­sion Preven­tion District reg­u­lates such in­lets as Blind Pass and sur­round­ing beaches, for in­stance. Cap­tiva prop­erty own­ers in 2014 were in­voiced $5.7 mil­lion of a $20 mil­lion project to re­place beach sand lost to ero­sion. Cost for the WCIND project is about $2.5 mil­lion.

BIG CAR­LOS PASS ON FORT MY­ERS BEACH SUE MONK KIDD

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