Clam Pass has just completed a major hydraulic dredging project for second time in three years.

Because it is a small inlet that does not have jetties to help keep it open, Clam Pass is especially vulnerable to closures from waves and winds. Further complicating the issue is the fact that North Naples’ Clam Pass is a haven for migratory birds and other wildlife, which makes it difficult for the county to make any modifications to the inlet, even ones that would help prevent it from closing.

The pass splits Clam Pass Park and Pelican Bay’s South Beach before flowing into a 209-acre preserve filled with mangroves and tidal flats. Tidal flow in and out of the pass is critical for maintaining the saltwater-freshwater balance and the health of the mangroves.

The last major dredging project took place in 2016 after heavy winter rains and poor tidal flushing at the mouth of the choked pass flooded patches of mangroves, causing an 8-acre die-off.