Orion Marine Starts Wiggins Pass Dredging (USA)
Residents and visitors can expect about $1.8 million worth of pass maintenance activity to commence early this month at Wiggins Pass in Naples.
Despite being peak tourist season, the schedule for work on the beach requires completion within the next 60 days due to turtle nesting season beginning May 1.
Orion Marine Construction is set to begin a $1,754,000 dredging project at Wiggins Pass that includes straightening the S-shaped channel.
During the past two decades, the pass has been dredged 13 times and needs repeat work more often since it has been refilling with sand with increased frequency. Historically, the pass has been dredged every two years but recent trends have the channel filling in every 18 months to un-navigable conditions. In addition to unsafe boating conditions, Barefoot Beach and the mangrove channel to the north have experienced significant erosion.
The Board of County Commissioners (BCC) appointed an Inlet Management Work Team on April 13, 2010 (Item 16D1), to address these problems after modeling studies conducted in 2008 and 2009 identified channel straightening as a viable solution. This stakeholder work team developed the following non-structural goals and objectives for this project:
• To provide a safe channel for boating;
• To address erosion at Barefoot Beach;
• To lengthen the dredge cycle and accomplish it with the least effect on the environment; and,
• To provide a solution that is economically effective.
This project has been thoroughly reviewed and vetted with the community. In addition to the oversight and approvals from the Coastal Advisory Committee and the Tourist Development Council, the BCC has reviewed and/or approved this project five times over the past two years.
On Nov. 13, 2012 (Item 11O), the BCC approved an independent Peer Review of the proposed dredging improvements at Wiggins Pass. The review was completed on Dec. 14, 2012, and indicated “that the presently proposed and permitted project should be implemented at Wiggins Pass, and the performance monitored to inform future action. The proposed project is viable and presents a reasonable likelihood of improving conditions and meeting the project objectives, relative to current practices.”
Orion Marine Construction, Inc., through its subsidiary Subaqueous, Inc., successfully completed the Marco South Renourishment project in 2007 and the dredging of both Wiggins Pass and Doctors Pass in 2009.
Press Release, March 5, 2013