Matanzas Pass to be dredged this summer

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FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning to dredge the Matanzas Pass this summer.

Boaters say the pass is filling up with sand and getting too narrow.

“Once you start getting multiple boats coming through the channel at the same time, it can get very crowded and very hazardous,” said Richard Sharp. “It’s obviously going to make things a lot less stressful, coming through there now is always stressful, especially on the weekends when a lot of boats are coming through.”

Sharp, captain of the Ultimate Getaway out of Getaway Marina, says he’s seen boats run into problems often.

Don Jones, captain of the Fishin Fever, agrees, “it’s a real cluster when the boats are going in and out, especially with the Key West boat and party boats and everybody and their small boats, it’s a traffic jam.”

The Corps says the sand that’s taken out will be put back onto the shoreline.

“It’s going to cost, yeah,” said Jones. “If they don’t put jetties in or do something to regulate it and keep the sand from washing around, they’re just going to do it in another two or three years ago.”

The full cost of the project will be unknown until the Corps picks a contractor in April.

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