The Coastal Zone Management Dredge Project for Wiggins Pass near Naples, Fla. began on Wednesday, and is estimated to be completed in 40 days.

Major maintenance dredging at both Wiggins Pass and Doctors Pass typically occurs on a four- year cycle with minor interim dredging in-between. All dredge projects must be engineered and permitted on an individual basis, a process that can take many months, starting with the most recent annual survey of existing channel conditions. Annual monitoring surveys are performed to keep a close eye on the condition of the inlets, and to observe the performance of the periodic maintenance dredging.

This year’s approximately $2 million project will remove approximately 65,000 cubic yards from Wiggins Pass and 25,700 cubic yards from Doctors Pass. The dredged material will be placed on the beaches within Barefoot Beach Park, Delnor Wiggins Pass State Park and Lowdermilk Park. Gator Dredging is the county’s contractor for this project.

The Doctors Pass dredging is scheduled to begin in early March and be completed near the end of that month.

Collier County said boaters should use extra caution navigating through the pass and stay well away from dredging activities. Channel markers in the vicinity of the dredge may be temporarily removed and will be replaced when dredging is completed.

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