Omar Rodríguez Ortiz / Marco News

FL - Marco Island Tells Collier to Restore Tigertail Lagoon

Marco Island City Council unanimously passed a motion Monday in support of a dredging and restoration plan for Tigertail lagoon to improve tidal flow and protect its ecosystem.

The motion also instructed city staff to work with Collier County, owner of the Tigertail Beach Park, to move the project forward. Councilor Erik Brechnitz said the county could use tourist tax dollars, a 5% charge on hotel and other short-term rental stays, to fund the project.

"It is the county's responsibility to maintain this and to keep it as a tourist development attraction," Brechnitz said.

A 2018 study by Humiston & Moore Engineers and other firms concluded tidal exchange at Tigertail has decreased since 2003, endangering its ecosystem.

Mohamed Dabees, vice president of the company, said waves hitting an adjacent sandbar have been eroding it for decades, slowly closing the only permanent water access to the lagoon. Dabees said the situation worsened in 2017 when Hurricane Irma made landfall on the island.

"The migration and deterioration of the central part (of the sandbar) threatens the water quality and the integrity of this system," Dabees said.

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