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Rich Z's Blatherings Since Connie and I have retired the SerpenCo business, topics here will focus on topics of a more personal and general nature.

Dredging at Blind Pass, Sanibel/Captiva Islands - 2017
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Old 07-05-2017, 04:08 PM   #1
Rich Z
Dredging at Blind Pass, Sanibel/Captiva Islands - 2017

Yeah, I know it's kind of overkill to create three videos of this, but the heavy machinery produced such an interesting contrast with the beach, that I just found it all mesmerizing. And I just couldn't fit all the neat video, to me anyway, in a single video here. Besides, I took the videos in 4K, so what is not to like here? Heavy machinery and a beautiful beach!

Anyway, these videos were taken mid May, 2017.

This was just a lucky stroke for us. Planned on staying on Sanibel Island near Bowman Beach, and didn't know a thing about this dredging going on. When we got down there, the outflow for the dredging operation was dumping sand and shells (LOTS of shells!) on the west part of Bowman Beach. Talk about a bonanza!

FYI, Blind Pass is a narrow pass right between Sanibel Island and Captiva Island. Many people consider this neck of the woods to be one of the best shelling beaches in the world.

Honestly, when we first walked out onto the west end of Bowman Beach, I was pretty shocked to see that heavy machinery out there on the sand. And then that large black pipe. I thought "NOW what are they messing up on this beach?" I figured they were laying some sort of sewer line or something. But when I discovered that they were dredging the pass, I recalled reading people saying that one of the BEST times to be shelling in this area is during or right after they have dredged the pass. Well how about that!

Video #3 has some still photos of just some of the shells we found while I happened to have my camera in hand. Which I didn't do very often, because rain storms popped up without warning on many of the days we were there.

Of course there was a downside to this. The dredging really messed up the water for a while, and I didn't get to do nearly as much snorkeling as I had hoped. Evidently there was a lot of silt being sucked up during the dredging and dumped onto the beach, which during high tides and the storms coming through, washed it out into the water where it was suspended, making the water pretty murky. You could actually see a noticeable boundary from the beach to where the silt was affecting the water, and where it was not. But it's probably just as well, because I just might have gotten sick of picking up shells sooner or later. Did I mention that there were a LOT of shells there? Yeah, a LOT of broken ones from going through all that dredging plumbing, but still a LOT of really nice shells too.

Video taken with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Db9e5oyYhbU


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaSMzDypOhI


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ_CVKNXl9Y
 
Old 07-06-2017, 01:15 PM   #2
Twolunger
There was dredging on Manasota Key this spring to put the sand back on the beaches. I know there was a lot of erosion, and it affected property values, so I thought it was a good idea. That was until I found out those of us in western Charlotte County have to pay for it with a property tax increase. It didn't seem fair that a county project should only be paid for by part of the county residents.
 
Old 07-06-2017, 03:52 PM   #3
Rich Z
Connie and I actually took a little trip to Stump Pass state park while we were staying in Sanibel. We saw the results of the dredging. Shelling pretty much sucked. Of course, it was very rough out there in the Gulf that day, so that might help explain why most of the shells had been pummeled to nearly nothing. That place sure has changed since my parents took me and my brothers there as kids. I can remember when there was NOTHING beyond one motel and one restaurant right where the beach road has the turn off towards Stump Pass. The county line on the beach road at Sarasota county was unpaved back then, and of course, just about none of the multi million dollar homes were there neither. I remember pulling a big ol' yellow rat snake out of a palm tree in back of our motel. And outsmarting a big ol' gopher tortoise that was taunting me from the entrance of his burrow. You could walk the sandy road down the center of the peninsula to Stump Pass and see the sand literally crisscrossed with snake trails.

My parents built a beach house on Wilhelm Drive right on the beach. Of course, they didn't do that until AFTER I had moved out of the house, leaving me behind in Maryland. The house got sold after their divorce, so we drove up the road to take a look at it. All the palm trees that used to be around the house are gone now, likely taken out by one storm or another. Having a house on the beach sure sounds like fun, but I can remember my mom talking about how much maintenance all that salt air and moisture causes. The purchase price is only part of the total expenses you can expect. Honestly, I would rather rent now and again, and leave all those headaches and expenses to someone else. Building on barrier islands is just something that no one should expect anything like "permanence" out of.

Anyway, I guess I would be pissed if I got slapped with a property tax increase that was to pay for something that would increase the value of someone else's property. Doesn't seem rightly fair to me.
 
Old 07-06-2017, 03:59 PM   #4
Rich Z
BTW, have you heard or seen anything about a "red tide" problem around there? Connie picked up a nagging cough while we were in Sanibel, and we noticed that my swim trunks got a really funky smell to them after I had been in the water. Friend of mine said he saw definite signs of red tide up around this way this past weekend between Eastpoint and St. Teresa as well. I found a website that is supposed to track that sort of thing, but with a website name of http://www.visitbeaches.org, I seriously doubt they are there to show bad news to anyone wanting to "visit the beaches".

We were down on Manasota Beach one November a while back when there was a pretty nasty red tide taking place there. We couldn't even walk on the beach because you just could not breath there. Of course, no one tells you about such things when you are talking to them about renting at their establishment.
 
Old 07-06-2017, 06:59 PM   #5
Nanci
Less than a month left till my piddly little 6 day vacation there! I wonder what it will be like, then.
 
Old 07-06-2017, 11:18 PM   #6
Twolunger
The red tide did hit Manasota Key earlier in the year and I read that many Manatees were killed. Englewood Beach had a real problem and I thought it had all cleared up, but then local fishermen warned me about red tide again last month. My daughter-in-law wanted to go to the beach in late May so I told her to avoid Englewood and go to Manasota Beach instead. She went there with friends but didn't go in the water. She said just walking the beach caused eye irritation and breathing problems. She took our grandkids back to Manasota Beach two weeks ago and everything seemed fine. I was there just driving around and doing a little fishing and the beach was crowded.
 
Old 07-07-2017, 08:32 PM   #7
Rich Z
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanci View Post
Less than a month left till my piddly little 6 day vacation there! I wonder what it will be like, then.
Take a snorkel and hit the water between Bowman Beach and Blind Pass. At low tide, look for sections of shells with a bit of green overwash, which means they are pretty much undisturbed between low and high tide. These will normally be between the sandbar and the beach where a trough forms. That's where I found the best shells.

Walking the beach will be pretty hit and miss. Some people get up before dawn to be first on the beaches looking for the shells that got exposed over night. And nine times out of ten, then will run into some people who got up even earlier than they did.

Heck, you can still find more shells in 6 days then you will know what to do with..........
 
Old 07-07-2017, 08:36 PM   #8
Rich Z
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twolunger View Post
The red tide did hit Manasota Key earlier in the year and I read that many Manatees were killed. Englewood Beach had a real problem and I thought it had all cleared up, but then local fishermen warned me about red tide again last month. My daughter-in-law wanted to go to the beach in late May so I told her to avoid Englewood and go to Manasota Beach instead. She went there with friends but didn't go in the water. She said just walking the beach caused eye irritation and breathing problems. She took our grandkids back to Manasota Beach two weeks ago and everything seemed fine. I was there just driving around and doing a little fishing and the beach was crowded.
Used to be that you only saw red tides later in the summer when the water temps warmed up. Seems like it is pretty much an all year problem these days. Sure can take a lot of the fun out of living near the Gulf or Mexico and liking to gorge on locally caught seafood frequently. Still not convinced that the corexit BP dumped into the Gulf doesn't have something to do with this.

Saw some good signs though. Coquinas really seem to be making a come back, and quite a few birds on the beach. Still not seeing that sort of bounceback up here on St. George Island, however. Some, but not the way it used to be before the oil "spill".
 
Old 07-08-2017, 12:33 PM   #9
Twolunger
I've read that some of the BP clean-up funding will be applied to the Manasota Key dredging. It did seem that red tide was usually localized and occurred for a short time during the hottest part of the summer. Now it can occur in cooler water temps like in March.
 
Old 05-23-2023, 03:58 AM   #10
Pop Alexandra
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twolunger View Post
There was dredging on Manasota Key this spring to put the sand back on the beaches. I know there was a lot of erosion, and it affected property values, so I thought it was a good idea. That was until I found out those of us in western Charlotte County have to pay for it with a property tax increase. It didn't seem fair that a county project should only be paid for by part of the county residents.
That's certainly unfair unless you're the only ones who benefit from it.
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