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Wiggins Pass dredging poses navigation hazard for boaters

A major project in Collier County is set to finish in the next few days. Crews are dredging up sand from Wiggins Pass and pumping it two miles north toward Barefoot Beach.

From the shoreline, you can see the dredging barges. What you can’t see are the large pipes underneath the water posing a danger to boaters and fishermen.

That’s why the Coast Guard wants to warn people boating through the pass.

Fisherman Jacob Lopez was out enjoying the sunshine saying he and his family hit the water hoping to hook some fish.

What they don’t want to catch is equipment or pipes under the water and boats don’t’ want propeller damage.

James Wegman, a regular out on the water, has dodged the pipes in the past. And now as the dredging project progresses, he says, “It’s weird seeing it because your not sure what it is if you are from a great distance and you realize they are dredging here and that’s what you are seeing.”

Once the sand’s dug up, it will make the waters easier to navigate and deepen the channel.

Where does all that sand go? It will replenish the sand on Barefoot beach Beach. Even though it’s an inconvenience now, boaters say it’s worth it.

It’s all part of a bigger project that involves Turkey Bay, Wiggins Pass, and Caxambas Pass.

Reporter:Taylor Petras
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