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Collier starts South Beach renourishment project to add 80,000 cubic yards of sand

Marco Island residents may soon enjoy a wider section of South Beach as Collier County refurbishes it with 80,000 cubic yards of sand dredged from Caxambas Pass.

"When the materials are pumped through the discharge pipe (they) will be processed through a 'shaker' that will basically separate the larger shell aggregate materials from the smaller (ones),"  Clint Perryman, Coastal Zone Management project manager, wrote on Feb. 25.

"Only beach related compatible materials will be placed on the beach as per technical specifications and permit regulations."

The non-compatible material will be used for roads on Tigertail Beach and on other public properties, Perryman said.

The contractor mobilized the equipment to the site on Feb. 21 and the dredging operations began two days later but weather conditions delayed the project for five days, according to Perryman.

"We started on Feb. 23 but we were shut down for close to five days due to inclement weather conditions," Perryman said Wednesday. "Right now we are going to have another day or two of inclement weather."

"We are confident that we will be done before the commencement of the sea turtle nesting season."

Sea turtle nesting season starts in May 1.

From 2019:Collier leaders approve $2.35M contract for dredging, beach renourishment

The renourishment started at the south end of Marco Beach at Cape Marco and will continue north to the Marbelle Club, according to Perryman.

Perryman said residents and visitors will continue to be able to enjoy the beach.

"During the duration of the construction project, residents and visitors will continue to be able to use and enjoy the beach but need to be aware that for their safety and the safety of the crews working on the renourishment project that some beach access areas will be temporarily restricted within the fenced off construction zones," Perryman wrote. 

On Wednesday, a sign at the public access alerted visitors of limited beach access. Orange fencing kept the public from accessing the project area and local police asked people on social media to refrain from tearing down or crossing the fence.

The Board of County Commissioners awarded a $2.35 million contract to Florida Dredge and Dock, LLC at their Nov. 12 meeting to improve navigation in Water Turkey Bay, Wiggins Pass and Caxambas Pass and to help renourish Marco's South Beach.

Money for the project is allocated from two sources. Tourist Development funds are covering the Wiggins Channel dredge, the Caxambas Pass dredge and the South Marco nourishment work while the Turkey Bay dredge is funded from Vanderbilt Waterway Municipal Service Taxing Unit.

Additional reporting by Patrick Riley.

Omar Rodríguez Ortiz is a community reporter for Naples Daily News and Marco Eagle. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram as @Omar_fromPR, and on Facebook. Support his work by subscribing to Naples Daily News.