FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- Boaters are concerned with the future of Big Carlos Pass. They say for years, the pass has been filling up with sand and is becoming impassable.
"I don't think people really understand what's going on out here, unless they take a close look at the maps that have just been drawn in the last six months to a year," said Boater Joel Rudy.
Boater Joel Rudy has been watching Big Carlos Pass fill in with sand.
"I have never gone to ground in all my years in Fort Myers until this year and it was at Big Carlos Pass," Rudy explained.
During the meeting, these arial pictures were presented, showing that just about every 10 years there has been a change in the pass. The earliest photos date back to 1968.
"This is one pass on the West Coast of Florida that has never been dredged and it is at the point now where its going to need some attention," said Al Durrett, Owner of Fish Tale Marina.
Back in 1982, the pass was about 11 to 19 feet deep, and now that same area at it's shallowest is just about two deep.
WINK went onboard to check out the pass.
"We're in Big Carlos Pass, 2.7 it just blinked, 2.7 its sitting at," said Captain Mark Combs.
The further we went out, the more shallow it got.
"What does it need to be out here?"
"Captain: I mean safely 15-20 feet."
Looking at this GPS screen, the areas of white show its safe to naviagate, but all of Big Carlos Pass is in blue and that's not good for boaters.
"Do you think dredging is the best solution?"
Neighboring own officials and community members will go to the drawing board to put together a plan on how wide, how deep, and how far out the channel needs to be.
They will then present the outlines to county commissioners and request their assistance.
The Department of Environmental Protection will be the last to sign off on a dredging permit, but that request could take a couple of years.