The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has reached a decision according to which it will not ask the Florida Cabinet to grant “conceptual approval” to utilize the dredged muck for the purpose of building Naples Bay islands for wildlife natural habitat.
DEP will first have to carry out its regular environmental permitting review process for the islands and then the whole concept will be submitted to the Cabinet.
The main question of whether the islands are a spoil-disposal scheme to lessen the costs of a proposed dredging of canals and bays in the upscale Port Royal neighborhood remains.
According to the plans, more than 11.000 cubic yards of dredged muck would be used to build the islands that are to be stabilized with riprap placed around the piles of muck.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers postponed the project.
Most of the 476 property owners have agreed to support the project even though the estimated value reached the amount of $2.1 million.
The voting on whether to establish the assessment district is set for 8:30 a.m. December 14 at City Hall.
Naples Councilman, Sam Saad strongly believes that the islands would be a double benefit:
“They are essential for saving the city money and saving Naples Bay,” Saad said.
Dredging Today Staff, November 28, 2011; Image: naplesgov