Saving Snake Island

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VENICE, FL - The popular Snake Island near the mouth of the Venice and Nokomis Jetties is eroding away. This week work is expected to begin to keep it around forever.

The West Coast Inland Navigational District is expected to close the island this week for a $350,000 restoration project. In the past 10 years officials say the six acre island has deteriorated down to less than one acre.

Rocks are already piled up and ready to be placed on both the north and south sides. They will then pump up more sand. Citizen groups and local officials have been trying to come up with a way to save the island for years for a number of reasons says Marine Patrol Officer Paul Joyce. "This isn't just a place for people to come to. Yes that is a small part of it but the major part of this island here is that it's a buffer. It's a buffer for all the homes and property behind this island."

Pat McCarthy is apart of the group called the Snake Island Republic. He says it's been a long road to save the island before its too late but the time has finally come. "We are extremely happy. We've been waiting with baited breath for this to get started and it's starting. We are ready for it to get done."

An ancient midden has also been found and is washing away. The project will cover and protect it.

The island is expected to be closed to people starting this week and will take up to 90 days.

We will have much more this evening on ABC 7.