Lido Key – Big Pass Sand Dredge

Looking across Big Pass at Siesta Key, from South Lido Beach. This is the area the Army Corps of Engineers has proposed removing sand from the shoal to be used to renourish the beach on Lido Key. HERALD-TRIBUNE ARCHIVE / 2014 / MIKE LANG
Looking across Big Pass at Siesta Key, from South Lido Beach. This is the area the Army Corps of Engineers has proposed removing sand from the shoal to be used to renourish the beach on Lido Key.

It has taken nearly 20 years to get federal approval for this project, however plans to renourish Lido Key are causing concern for several groups. The plan would dredge sand from a shoal in Big Pass, and deposit it on the beach at Lido Key. This project would extend 1.56 miles north from the southern tip of the key, and would be the most amount of sand added to Lido Key beach at one time. Once the project is completed, the average width of the beach would be 176 feet. Opponents of the project are concerned that world-famous Siesta Public Beach will be jeopardized if the project does go through. For complete information visit:…


JANUARY 15-18, 2015

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL – Charlotte County is home to just about the finest boating waters in the United States and The 14th Annual Charlotte County Boat Show is coming to the Charlotte County Fairgrounds, January 15th – 18th. This is the area’s largest showing of boats and marine products and a great chance to see what is new in 2015.

Every major dealer will be on hand with more than 250 boats estimated to be on display. The Fairground’s Expo Hall will be loaded with a variety of marine accessories and services. There will be supplies and accessories, boat lifts, clothing, yacht brokers, marinas, boatyards, service suppliers and more.

The show is a great opportunity to learn more about area boating and safety. The U.S Coast Guard Auxiliary, Power Squadron, and local Yacht Clubs can answer just about any questions you may have about where to go and how to enjoy the amazing boating waters of Charlotte Harbor.

The ever popular Fishin’ Franks Bait & Tackle will hold Fishing Seminars throughout the four days. You can learn from and talk with area guides about both inshore and offshore fishing. You’ll never find a friendlier or more experienced crew than Fishin’ Frank’s team, always happy to answer all your questions. With Frank’s popular Fishing Simulator, you can experience the excitement of catching everything form a bass to a marlin. It’s all free. Just stop by the seminar area.

Admission to the show is free. There is a $5.00 parking fee for very convenient on-site parking. The show is open from 10AM-6PM Thursday through Saturday and 10AM-5PM on Sunday.

The Boat Show is located on the north end of Port Charlotte at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. 2333 El Jobean Road (Route 776), Port Charlotte FL 33948. About 3 miles west of U.S. 41. Across the street from the Charlotte County Sports Complex (Spring Training site of the Tampa Bay Rays).

The CHARLOTTE COUNTY BOAT SHOW is owned by the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association. The association, whose membership includes virtually every boat dealer and marine related company in Southwest Florida, has protected the rights of boaters and promoted boating and the marine industry in Southwest Florida for more than 40 years. The association also owns the BONITA SPRINGS BOAT SHOW, held at the Naples Ft. Myers Greyhound Track in March and the FORT MYERS BOAT SHOW, held in downtown Fort Myers in November.

Complete show details can be found at

News Release: Coast Guard to hold public meeting for waterways review in Punta Gorda, Fla.


Coast Guard to hold public meeting for waterways review in Punta Gorda, Fla.

WHO: The Coast Guard
WHAT: Public meeting to discuss Aids to Navigation
WHEN: 6 p.m., Jan.15, 2015.
WHERE: Laishley Park Municipal Marina Community Room, 120 Laishley Ct., Punta Gorda, Florida, 33950.

CHARLOTTE HARBOR, Fla. – The Coast Guard is scheduled to hold a public meeting to discuss the current Waterways Analysis and Management System (WAMS) in the Charlotte Harbor area Jan. 15, 2014.

The review consists of Charlotte Harbor, including Boca Grande Pass and the southern, navigable waters of the Peace and Myakka Rivers that are marked by Coast Guard Aids to Navigation.

The WAMS process is an essential component of both the Aids to Navigation Program and the Marine Transportation System. Coast Guard officials use WAMS to validate the adequacy of the existing aids to navigation systems and to get a better understanding of the uses of each waterway and general safety issues. WAMS focuses on the waterway’s present Aids to Navigation system, marine casualty information, port and harbor resources, changes in recreational and commercial marine vessel usage and future dredging and development projects.

This is an opportunity for the public to recommend changes for improvements of Aids to Navigation, federal publications and nautical charts within the area.

For more information, contact Chief Warrant Officer Darren Pauly, 813- 228-2191 Ext 8184 or

The 42nd Annual Fort Myers Boat Show Set to Make a Splash!


Southwest Florida’s largest and most anticipated boat show returns for it’s 42nd annual exhibition of boats, equipment and seminars. The event will be held in the Harborside Event Center and the City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin Thursday, Nov. 13 through Sunday, Nov. 16. The show will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

“Few other shows in the country are able to offer both indoor and in-water viewing of boats and accessories.” says show manager, John Good. “This promises to be our largest in-water display in many years!”

The Harborside Event Center will be filled to capacity with boats and marine accessories. A new accessory display area has also been added along Hendry Street facing the marina. This leads to the “Welcome to the Water” Boating Lifestyle area in the City Pier Building on the river.

Fishing, Diving, Paddlesports, Boat Maintenance Tips and other boating how-to information will be on display inside and outside. Local fishing expert Fishin’ Frank will host a series of seminars covering techniques to catch many popular Gulf Coast species. Frank’s guides will be on hand throughout the show to offer advice on making the most of your fishing time on the water. The popular “Fishing Simulator” returns giving show visitors the chance to catch everything from bass to billfish.

Saturday and Sunday, one of Florida’s top divers, Jim “Chiefy” Mathie will hold seminars on spear fishing and catching lobster. Mathie is the author of two books, “Catching the Spear-it” and “Catching the Bug” that offer detailed information on improving your diving skills.

Boats however are still the show’s main draw. Every type of boat from kayaks and inflatables to yachts and everything in between. There will be more than 40 companies displaying boats, representing more than 90 boat lines, plus over 40 brokerage boats in-water.

Food and beverages will be available inside the event as well as several new downtown restaurants. Admission is $10.00 per person, per day and free for children under 16 with a paid adult admission. Tickets can be purchased at the door. For more information about the show, click here.

UPDATE: Draft Impact Statement released on rail project!

A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) has been released by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for the proposed All Aboard Florida Passenger Rail Project – All Aboard Florida – Operations LLC (AAF). The purpose of this DEIS is to evaluate the consequences that the construction and operation of the passenger rail project will have on the environment between Orlando and West Palm Beach. There will be eight Public Information Meetings held by the FRA which will give the public a chance to ask questions and leave written comments on the DEIS.

For additional information on this project visit –

SWFMIA 2014 Annual Dinner Gallery

SWFMIA’s 2014 Annual Dinner at Harborside Event Center was a huge success and was the most well attended to date! Participants enjoyed catching up with other members along with participating in our Chinese and silent auctions and 50/50 raffle. During the dinner, updates were given on the state of the association and industry from several key members. Thanks to everyone who joined us – we look forward to next year’s event! 

Invalid Displayed Gallery


Regional marine industry names Justin McBride as Member of the Year


Fort Myers, FL, Sept. 26, 2014 — Justin McBride was named Member of the Year for The Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association at its recent annual dinner in Fort Myers. McBride is the Coastal Project Manager for Lee County’s Division of Natural Resources Marine Program and a long-serving Member of SWFMIA’s Board of Directors.


“We are very fortunate to have Justin serving on our board,” SWFMIA President Hans Wilson said. “He brings a valuable perspective as a part of local government and an avid boater.”

Among many accomplishments, McBride is responsible for publishing the popular Lee County Boater’s Guide, a comprehensive guide to boating information for residents and visitors. He also helped create the smart-phone app for the Boater’s Guide. McBride and the staff of Lee County Natural Resources Marine Division handle aids to navigation, abandoned vessels, beach management, artificial reefs and manatee protection.

For more than 40 years, the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association has represented the interests of the marine industry. For information, contact John Good at or (239) 656-7083.

Security Alert

We just received some footage from a local break-in this weekend. We advise everyone to please keep their guard up, luckily they only managed to get a steering wheel before noticing the cameras and leaving.