Question: I’m still pretty new to the area and I heard that what is known as the “island” of Venice is actually not an island? How so? As far as I can see it is surrounded by water. —Donna W.
Answer: Sorry to say Donna that Venice is not a natural island, but don’t let that stop you from talking to your friend Wilson and spelling out S.O.S. in the sand just for fun! Really though, we were almost an island—with the Gulf of Mexico on the west and Hatchett Creek on the north—when the Army Corps of Engineers decided to finish the job and built the Intracoastal Waterway, or ICW, in the 1960s. It was they, not Mother Nature, who dredged and created that perfectly symmetrical canal lined by huge boulders to our east and south. The official rationale was that it was built to protect U.S. shipping routes against storms, but I’ve been here for a while and I haven’t seen many freighters tooling through the waterways. That’s okay though, because we Venetians like the cache of living a tropical island lifestyle. It gives us a valid excuse for drinking fruity drinks with little paper umbrellas.