District 2 Collier County Commissioner Georgia Hiller will hold a press conference on Wednesday, May 11, in Naples, Florida, following the completion of the Clam Pass dredging project.
The Clam Pass dredging project, which was completed Monday, removed approximately 19,000 cubic yards of sand from the pass, restoring tidal flow to the estuary and reopened the beach after three weeks of closures.
In February, Commissioner Hiller traveled to Washington D.C. with Brandon Reed, Collier County’s federal and state legislative affairs coordinator, to meet with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and request that the 10-year-permit application be expedited.
“As a result of going to Washington D.C., the permit was expedited and received within two weeks,” said Commissioner Hiller, whose district includes Clam Pass.
“Because we were able to get the 10-year permit within that two-week period, we were able to avoid needing an emergency permit, which would have put an additional cost on our taxpayers.”
“The quick completion was only possible because of the joint collaboration of local, state and federal officials,” said Commissioner Hiller. “This shows that if enough people want to get something done, government can work together – and efficiently – at the local, state and federal levels.”
Monday’s reopening was the culmination of months of work. Recent record rainfall in Southwest Florida and the slow narrowing of Clam Pass placed the mangrove forests in the Clam Bay Natural Resource Protection Area at risk and a dredging permit was needed to avoid further environmental harm.
The 10-year permit was issued March 11, and dredging began in mid-April. Despite heavy winds and rough waves, dredging was completed by the contract deadline.