Collier County spending $2 million to dredge Wiggins, Doctor’s Pass

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FILE: Fort Myers Beach

A new dredging project began Monday at Wiggins Pass, which will lead to better conditions for boaters and beach goers.

“The hurricane put a good pounding on this side of it,” said Naples resident Bob Smith. “On this side, it took a lot of the sand away so we will welcome that sand to come back.”

Collier County commissioners agreed last month to dredge both Doctor’s and Wiggins Pass.

That means crews will dig up extra sand and debris at the bottom of the channel and spread that high-quality sand on various beaches. It will make the channel safer for boaters and more attractive for beach goers.

“Well it’s almost non-existent, and I think if you wait much longer, it’s going to impact the tourism industry for sure,” said resident Rod Woolley.

Woolley says the beach could use some fixing up post-hurricane Irma.

The county last dredged Wiggins Pass in 2013—with a $1 million price tag. It will cost around the same this time, and it’s all paid for using tourist tax dollars.

“It’s very important to me, and nice sand is the key to it all if you’re on a beach with lots of sticks and hard things to walk on, it’s not as fun,” said tourist Judy Jessup.

Jessup annually visits Wiggins Pass and says she’s thrilled the county is making her main attraction a priority.

“I am thankful they are doing as much as they can to keep them updated and I think it’s a great idea. I don’t mind paying at all with my tourist tax for something this pleasurable,” she said.

To dredge both Wiggins and Doctor’s Pass, it will cost just over $2 million. It’s expected to finish in September 2018.

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