Paradise Beaches Newsletter  
July 2017

New Artificial reef  reef coming to Naples

At 10:28 a.m. Friday, under a gray sky with chilly 5-knot northwest winds, the yellow forklift front loader on the black barge dropped a concrete junction box into the clear green water 10 miles off Marco Island.

In all, the McCulley Marine Services front loader dumped 500 tons of clean concrete to create the first of 36 artificial reefs that will make up a $1.35 million artificial reef system.

"Florida has always had the reputation as having the best and most aggressive artificial reef program. The state and some counties take that seriously."

Artificial reefs are important off Southwest Florida's coast because fish are attracted to structure, which provides shelter and food, and much of the area's sea floor is flat, sandy bottom.

Eventually, the project, a joint effort of the cities of Naples and Marco and Collier County, will deploy 18,000 tons of clean concrete, including junction boxes, culverts, pilings and prefabricated modules at the 36 sites.

Reefs will range east and west from 10 to 28 miles offshore and north and south from off Cape Romano to between Gordon Pass and Doctors Pass.

New reef to be placed off Gordon Pass

Water quality testing a weekly ritual in Collier County

Jaime Cook, environmental supervisor with the Department of Health, holds up a labeled water sample on Monday, June 26, 2017, at the Naples Pier in downtown Naples. Cook collects water samples at 12 beaches each week to test for bacteria. 

"Everyone was asking," said Charles Welles, 24, who works at Cabana Dan's on Vanderbilt Beach. "

Our beaches are our biggest attraction, so when people see something like that on the news or online, it spreads like wildfire."

"We do have good water quality, and it is safe for people to swim at our beaches," Cook said. "The only thing that can always throw a wrench into that is the weather."

High surf, hurricanes, storms and rain are all factors that may cause increased levels of bacteria. Storms and rain wash nutrients from the shore into the ocean, causing bacteria to flourish.

"The conditions at the beaches change so rapidly," said Cook, which is why the Environmental Protection Agency requires the health department to check water quality there at least once a week.

One predictable event that affects beachgoers is the biannual "red tide." Usually twice a year, in late October and early February, rains and storms push fresh water into the Gulf of Mexico, causing algae to bloom heavily. The algae can cause respiratory distress, and a lack of oxygen in the water can cause fish to die. 

WalletHub ranks Naples, Florida as most livable beachside community

Naples can add another top ranking to its growing collection of honors.

Personal finance website WalletHub has ranked Naples as 2017's "Best Beach Town to Live in,"based on six factors: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. 

WalletHub analysts compared 227 cities to come up with the best, using 49 metrics. 

The study looked at cities with a population between 10,000 and 150,000, and at least one beach listed on TripAdvisor.

Six Florida cities ranked in the top 10. Marco Island ranked 7th, Fort Myers ranked 72nd and Bonita Springs ranked 98th.

Read the full report here.

Related: Other times Naples has made a national list:

Everglades City 

Historic Everglades City is always first -- the first Collier County seat and the first in the area to celebrate Independence Day


  • The annual family-fun festival to commemorate America’s founding will be on Saturday, July 1.
  • The opening ceremony is at 10 a.m. on the steps of City Hall (the former county courthouse).
  • That is followed at 10:30 a.m. by the patriotic parade.
  • There are prizes for the best floats which may be anything from golf carts to swamp buggies.
  • The fun continues in McLeod Park when booths open at 11 a.m. featuring hotdogs and sodas, bake sale, face painting, arts and crafts vendors, raffles, kiddies’ best dressed contest, and playground games.
  • In the evening the grand finale is the dramatic musical fireworks display at 9 p.m. 
  • Information: Dottie at 239-695-3781 or

Your Guide to Navigating Fourth of July Traffic in Naples

In an effort to minimize traffic delays, control parking and create an overall safe and enjoyable environment,

NPD has developed an operational plan utilizing press releases and electronic message boards to provide the public with useful information.

Your Guide to Navigating Fourth of July Traffic in Naples

will be held at 10:00 am

Bring the family and enjoy the annual Naples 4th of July parade.

The parade route goes from Broad Avenue South to Third Street South, up to 5th Avenue South,

then east on 5th Avenue South,

turning south on 8th Street South past City Hall,

ending at 8th Avenue South and 8th Street South.

July 4, 2017  10:00AM to Noon

Don’t miss this annual tradition as floats, bands, and all kinds of entries make their way from Broad Street South to 3rd Street South to 5th Avenue South following the traditional parade route.

For more information or to sign up to participate, please call the city of Naples at 239.213.7120.

4th of July Fireworks 
start at 9:00 p.m. just off the Naples Pier! Come early .Naples residents are invited to bring chairs or blankets to viewing spots in town, as the fireworks can be seen all along the Naples beach.

The Fireworks will feature a twenty minute display with special effects musically choreographed to patriotic selections that will be simulcast on radio station WAVV 101.1 FM.

Naples residents are invited to bring chairs or blankets to viewing spots in town, as the fireworks can be seen all along the Naples beach.

 Personal use of sparklers or any fireworks is prohibited per City ordinance.

Strict parking enforcement will take place in marked "No Parking"

areas with close attention given to the entire length of Gulf Shore Blvd, blocked intersections, and fire hydrants.

There will be no parking allowed on either side of Gulf Shore Blvd  

between 20th Ave. S. and 8th Ave. N. (Golf Dr.) Vehicles will be towed.

We encourage the use of public parking in the downtown areas and to please respect other's property and do not block driveways or park on private property without owner's consent.

Fourth Ave. S. will be a designated disabled parking beach end for those with proper disabled parking permits.

Parking meters are enforced daily between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and no parking after 11:00 p.m. is allowed at the beach ends.


Date(s) - Tuesday, July 4, 2017
All Day

South Marco Beach 
130 S. Collier Blvd.
Marco Island, FL 34145
239.642.0575 Add to iCal

Entertainment and Fireworks at 9 p.m.

Public parking located at the intersection of Swallow Avenue and Collier Blvd., Marco Island.

For event information call or visit website.

Uncle Sam’s Sand Jam and fireworks

Celebrate Independence Day Island-style with Uncle Sam’s Sand Jam at Resident's Beach (parking is limited, must be a member). Registration for the day's activities commences at noon.

The fun and games began at 1 p.m. Kids of all ages can participate. There’s hoola hoops, tug of war, limbo, hot dog eating, and patriotic swimwear contests along with face painting and a DJ. Food and beverages are available at the pavilion and tents along the beach thanks to the Marco Island Civic Association (MICA) and Paradise Grill. End the day with the fireworks display at 9 p.m.

Date:7/4/2017 9:00 PM - 9:30 PM Location:Residents' Beach
130 S. Collier Blvd
Marco Island, Florida 34145


Thursday, July 2 at 6 p.m., Mercato gets ready for action at its Independence Day Kick-off Party featuring classic rock with Rockin’ Horse.

The kids will enjoy bounce house, face painting, stilt walkers, lawn games, oodles of beads and gift card giveaways. Wear a red, with and blue outfit and receive a complimentary Mercato beach towel or insulated tumbler while supplies last.

 CONCERT: Ben Allen Band July 6 from 6-9 PM

Nothing says America like country music. We are thrilled to bring Ben Allen Band to the Mercato concert lawn for the first time. 

Food and outdoor bar provided by Naples Flatbread. Please leave coolers at home.

And other Festivities Elsewhere

However, if a more relaxed vibe is in order, then visit the Naples Grand Beach Resort for jazz al fresco and experience The RJ Howson Band on the Sunset Veranda on Friday, July 3 at 5 p.m.

The event is free. For more information, call 239-597-3232.

Also during the holiday weekend from July 3 - 6 the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is offering free admission to all active and prior service military personnel.  

Military service members receive free admission at the Zoo’s ticket box by presenting military identification or a veteran’s organization member card.  

Spouse and children in the group receive a $2 off regular Zoo admission during the weekend.

Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens

And if you love a parade, then check out the classic City of Naples’ Fourth of July Parade.  

Starting at 10 a.m. thousands adorned in red, white and blue will line the streets of downtown Naples as the parade travels along Broad Ave. South and continues on Third Street South and Fifth Ave. South.

Besides pulling up a beach chair and watching this choreographed display, enjoy a boat ride on Pure Florida Double Sunshine for hors d’oeuvres, refreshments while watching the fireworks.

Cost is $60. For more information, call 239-263-4949.

Celebrations also take place at Sugden Regional Park in East Naples too where fireworks start after sunset.

Earlier in the day there is an ice-cream social from 2 until 4 p.m. followed by a D.J. and food venders into the evening.

Bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating for the fireworks but remember no coolers after 5 p.m., no pets and parking is off-site.

Events Calendar

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