USACE to begin maintenance dredging of Matanzas Pass

USACE Jacksonville
Published July 31, 2023
Updated: July 31, 2023
Dredging Matanzas Pass

A dredger removes accumulated shoaling from the Matanzas Pass federal channel near Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, will begin maintenance dredging of the federal navigation channel (also known as Matanzas Pass) in the vicinity of Fort Myers Beach, Florida, as early as Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023.

The project is being executed under a $2.9 million contract awarded in June to Cottrell Contracting Corp. of Chesapeake, Virginia, and is expected to be complete in late August or early September. The project calls for the dredging of approximately 120,000 cubic yards of shoaling from Cuts 1, 2A and 3 of the federal channel, including wideners and settling basin, to a required depth of 12 feet plus 2 feet of allowable over-depth.

All dredged material will be dispersed in a nearshore placement area approximately 8,000 feet south of the dredged channel, progressing from north to south approximately one mile. The dredge pipe will be weighted and submerged, and its underwater route marked with orange poly balls and lighted danger diamond buoys. Dredging and placement will be continuous, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until the project is complete.

Local Notice to Mariners has been issued, and USACE requests all boaters and navigators to respect the slow speed, minimum wake signs when passing the dredge. USACE also requests that boaters refrain from anchoring and swimming in clearly delineated sections along the shoreline as the placement area progresses southward along Fort Myers Beach. Beachgoers should avoid wading on the beach shoreline adjacent to the discharge areas.

The USACE team and Lee County will conduct protective sea turtle nest and shorebird monitoring throughout the duration of the project. Lee County may relocate turtle nests in the vicinity of the project staging area at Bowditch Point Park and requests the public respect markers and barriers that may be erected along the beach to mark nests being protected on site.

David Ruderman

Release no. 23-046