Collier looks to hire firm for guidebook to maintaining beaches

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Hannah Vogel/WINK

Crews are dredging Wiggins Pass to add sand to some of Southwest Florida’s favorite beach spots.

A barge is blocking a view, but beach goers aren’t too worried because it helps keep things clean.

Projects like the dredging at Wiggins Pass help to maintain beaches and use information to help other future projects.

“I think it’s a great idea, who wouldn’t go for that?” asked resident Dana Crossland.

Crossland said Collier County’s beaches are the biggest draw to the area.

“That’s why people come here, without our beaches tourism would dwindle,” Crossland said.

The county’s coastal zone management team is in charge of maintaining the beaches.

To help keep beaches healthy, they’re looking to hire an engineering company to gather history about improvement projects over the last 20 years, like dredging a pass or bringing in new sand.

“If you want to achieve a goal you must have a plan otherwise you will never get there,” said tourist Ulf Kretch.

The goal is to document methods and equipment used —maps and pictures of the project— along with environmental factors and other details to give the county a handbook to help with future beach maintenance projects.

“Those are the things that matter to tourists,” Kretch said.

The analysis would cost around $80,000. The money would likely come from the beach re-nourishment fund, which is paid for with tourist tax dollars.

“We do the same in Germany we have beaches there too and the counties and communities take some extra tax from the tourists to keep the beaches clean, make them look nice,” Kretch said.

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