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Destin Dredging project
A clear and safe path into Destin Harbor is an economic necessity for hundreds of fishing boats and other businesses.
A big dredging project is wrapping up just in time for summer.
Laura Hussey "You're looking at Norriego Point, we're sitting right in front of it. That equipment you see may not be exactly what you think of when you hear the word dredge. There is a big monster they're using, we'll show you that in a minute. But here in the channel, they had to do it old school."
It seems to be a never ending story.... sand from Norriego Point washes into the navigation channel, making the path into the harbor shallow and sometimes dangerously narrow.
Capt. Steve Regan/Cutting Edge "It was getting pretty tight, even a boat like this, 42 Hatteras, you're talking five feet of clearance, and it was getting pretty tight."
This time, a giant dredge brought in for another project was in the right place at the right time. Their job was to clear out the area near the Coast Guard station for the Army Corps of Engineers. Destin piggybacked onto the project, hiring the contractor to dredge an area extending from the harbor to the bridge.
Capt. Steve Regan "It basically went from six foot to now it's around..... I think it's eleven or fourteen."
The trouble spot just inside the mouth of the harbor is too small for the big dredge. It's being cleared out, one scoop at a time, by what they call a "mechanical dredge."
When it's all done, more than twenty-thousand cubic yards of sand will have been placed on Norriego Point. Then repairs will be made on a retaining wall that's been undermined.
Capt. Steve "It's constantly growing and getting shallower every day, that's just the nature of the beast, but hopefully it'll be open for a while."
Laura Hussey "Destin paid 192 thousand dollars to get this job done. Ultimately the stabilization of Norriego Point is going to be funded by BP money. It just hasn't come through yet."