Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday Curiosity

Since it was another beautiful sunny day, it was a good time to satisfy my curiosity, by making a drive out to Blind Pass to see how far they have gone with the dredging project. It was a nice drive and fun to watch so many people utilizing the bike path. The Sanibel parking area by the bridge was nearly full, with only a couple of spaces left open. There were a lot of people on the beach. I found it interesting looking from the bridge, over the walled in area that looked completed and seeing the bright colored beach umbrellas just beyond. They are going to use the steel walled area to store and dewater the dredged material not beach compatible. That material will then be trucked out. Work is planned to continue on the east side of the channel to within 1000 feet of the bridge and across the entire channel. That work should be completed and work will begin excavating the non-beach compatible material by March 1.

There are pictures and a video below, so you can see for yourself. It's a great feeling to see water so close to the bridge now. Looks to me like they are making great progress. The estimated completion time is May 2009.
You can read for yourself the Feb 11 update on the Lee County website .























Can be watched in HD on YouTube


Since posting this, I have been asked by several folks, who don't know about the pass being closed with sand, if this project will help the quality of living for those around it. It's a pretty involved story, but I'll try to just hit the main points and explain, as best I can......

Back in the 90's, Blind Pass filled in with sand, which stopped the flow of water. The entire area on the back side of that pass, in the channel and the surrounding area was surrounded with stagnant water that very quickly affected the environment. Sediment built up, sea grasses died, algae grew, game fish and wildlife left the area.

A trial was done by simply dredging through the accumulated sand in the pass to find out if that might remedy the problem. Fish were seen in the pass the same day of the opening, so there was hope. Unfortunately the pass was closed again in only 10 days.

Since that time there has been an on-going effort to get the pass reopened. It has taken years and tons of paperwork, but this huge project now involves The Captiva Erosion Prevention District, Lee County agencies, Florida state agencies, Federal agencies, and the Army Corps of Engineers. The new plan is very involved. Simply put, more sand is being removed through a deeper and wider area on the Gulf side and in the channel. With hope, that will return the flow of water needed to restore the environment to what it once was.

6 comments:

George said...

It's nice to see such good progress on such a large project.

Dave said...

That work should improve life there Toots? - Dave

bean3 said...

Hi Tootie,
I hope you don't mind, I posted a link to this on TA. Once again, your documentation is much appreciated. We get a lot of questions about Blind Pass.
Take care, Bean3

Helen said...

Hi Tootie,
Yes, I would love to be a slacker too....
Best day of vacation is the day we arrive in Sanibel, saddest day is the day we have to head home....
Thanks for keeping us up too date on Blind Pass and sharing your retirement with hope to be slackers too one day....
Have a great day....

Helen said...

Hi Tootie,
Yes, I would love to be a slacker too....
Best day of vacation is the day we arrive in Sanibel, saddest day is the day we have to head home....
Thanks for keeping us up too date on Blind Pass and sharing your retirement with hope to be slackers too one day....
Have a great day....

Okiesheller said...

Very interesting! Thanks!