Work crews start preparing to dredge Clam Pass

David Albers/Staff 
- Water from the Gulf of Mexico erodes Clam Pass on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, in Naples. A cold front and strong tides erased two months of effort by local citizens and visitors to dig a trench to maintain water flow in Clam Pass.

Photo by DAVID ALBERS // Buy this photo

David Albers/Staff - Water from the Gulf of Mexico erodes Clam Pass on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, in Naples. A cold front and strong tides erased two months of effort by local citizens and visitors to dig a trench to maintain water flow in Clam Pass.

Crews are standing by at Clam Pass in North Naples to begin laying the groundwork for a long-anticipated dredging of the sand-clogged inlet.

Surveyors are marking off the limits of the dredging project this morning, and crews are expected this afternoon to start moving sand to build a road to access areas inside the pass.

Crews aren't expected to start digging sand out of the pass to put on nearby beaches until Wednesday morning. The job is expected to take a couple weeks.

The work will take place during the day for the first week or so and then shift to night work to avoid conflicts with beachgoers.

A large area at Clam Pass has been roped off, but Clam Pass Park remains open and beachgoers can still walk up and down the beach.

Clam Pass closed up late last year, raising concerns about the health of the estuary and cutting off access through the pass to the Gulf of Mexico for boaters, kayakers and canoers.

Engineers and biologists obtained an emergency permit to dredge the pass late last week after the Collier County abandoned earlier attempts to get a longer-term dredging permit.

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