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April 14th, 2011 | Author:

The Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners (BOCC)  held a formal vote today to approve funding for all three sites of sites of the Diving and Snorkeling reefs the Marine Sanctuary Committee has proposed installing.  This is a MAJOR milestone and paves the way for the Committee to begin planning for the design, construction and installation of the reefs.   Fifty percent of the funding will come from TDC funds and the other fifty percent will come from County District four recreation funds.

Thank you to the BOCC for helping in a big way  to make Navarre Snorkelicious!

April 06th, 2011 | Author:

The Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners are scheduled to vote on approval of the TDC funding constuction and deployment of  the three Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary  reef sites currently being permitted.    The vote is planned for the 9 AM April 14th regular meeting of the Board in 6495 Caroline Street in Milton, FL.    Discussions about the project and proposed funding will be held at the Monday April 12th Commissioner Committee Meeting.

Assuming a successful funding vote, a major milestone  for the efforts to create snorkeling and diving reefs at Navarre Beach will be passed.   With up to $75,000 in matching funds from the TDC, Commissioner Jim Melvin has pledged to fund the balance of the cost out of district recreational funds.   The last hurdle is the receipt of the Federal permits.  Permits have been in the approval cycle with the Army Corps of Engineers since September of 2009 and are expected to be issued by early summer.  After issuance of permits construction may begin on the 135 reef units with installation to be scheduled as soon as possible afterwards.

November 08th, 2009 | Author:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began accepting public comments  on October 19th for  the Gulf Side Snorkeling and Diving Reef Permit applications made by the Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners.  The Permit reference for it is SAJ-2009-3187 (IP-SWA).  Comments will be received regarding this permit for 21 days (through November 9th).

The Corps also began accepting public comments on October 29th for the east and west Sound Side Reef Permit applications made by the Commissioners.   The Permit reference number for this permit is SAJ-2009-3188 (IP-SWA).  Comments will be received regarding this permit for 21 days also (through November 19th).

We encourage the public to comment positively on the need for both of these permits to be approved.   Let the Federal Government know that the reefs will have an immediate, large and lasting positive impact on the panhandle area economy, environment, and education  on both permit applications.  Economically the reefs will increase annual economic output in Santa Rosa County alone by $1.17 Million.  The estimated oyster growth on the proposed sound side reefs will create a water filtration capacity of almost 2 Million gallons of water per day and both the sound and gulf side reefs will provide essential marine habitat for juvenile fish species and increase marine biodiversity.  Both reefs will be a centerpiece amenity for the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary and all other area educational institutions and will facilitate learning and research programs from grade school through post graduate studies.

Please reference the permit number(s) when sending your comments.  You can send comments in writing by regular mail or email to Mr. Steve Andrews Jr. of the Army Corps.

Email comments can be sent to stephen.w.andrews@usace.army.mil

The physical address for letters is:

Dept of the Army – Jacksonville District Corps of Engineers

Pensacola Regional Office

41 North Jefferson St. Suite 111

Pensacola, FL 32502

August 26th, 2009 | Author:

Today (August 26th), the Marine Sanctuary Committee delivered to Santa Rosa County, all the federal and state permit applications and supporting information required for the sound side and gulf side diving and snorkeling reefs they are working to establish at Navarre Beach.

Applications delivered to Santa Rosa County Administrator Hunter Walker

Permit Applications delivered to Santa Rosa County Administrator Hunter Walker

There are six application packages total with one set of three addressed to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and another set of three addressed to the Army Corps of Engineers. The permit application packages are outlined below.

1. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers East Sound Side Reef Application Package
2. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers West Sound Side Reef Application Package
3. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Reef Application Package
4. FL DEP East Sound Side Reef Application Package
5. FL DEP West Sound Side Reef Application Package
6. FL DEP Gulf Reef Application Package

The next step in the process is for the county to sign and deliver the applications to Florida State DEP and Army Corps of Engineers respectively. The Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners passed Resolution 2009-13 on May 14, 2009 which confirmed the Board’s support of the marine sanctuary and their commitment to submit the professionally prepared permit applications delivered to them by the Marine Sanctuary Committee, and hold the resulting permits issued by the federal and state governments. The Sanctuary Committee anticipates the county will submit the applications within the next ten days to two weeks.

The Florida DEP permits are issued under the state’s General Permitting guidelines which are typically issued 30 to 60 days after submission by the county. The Army Corps of Engineers approval/issuance process is estimated to take between eight to fourteen months after submission by the county due to the coordination of the large number of other governmental agencies that typically review and comment on the permit applications.

The completion and submission of the applications is a major milestone for creation of the marine sanctuary. The Sanctuary Committee is pleased to be able to meet this milestone on budget and on time, and looks forward to shepherding the permits through the approval process, and deployment of the diving and snorkeling reefs into the permitted areas of the sound and gulf.

May 15th, 2009 | Author:

In the Thursday regular meeting of the Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners, Resolution 2009-13 was passed,  supporting the creation of the Navarre Underwater Marine Sanctuary outlined in our plan.  The resolution formalizes the the county government’s support for the snorkeling and diving reefs we are working toward and indicates the Board of Commissioners agrees to sponsor and hold the required state and federal permits for the project.

You can view the resolution here or from a link on  our Plan Documents page.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT COMMISSIONERS!