Tag-Archive for » Eco System «

May 15th, 2012 | Author:

The barge you see doing work in Santa Rosa Sound just north of Navarre Beach County Park is the county’s contractor installing the sound side reefs.

The public is invited to attend a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of two of three Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary snorkeling reef projects on Tuesday, May 22 at 11:30 a.m. at the Sandpiper Pavilion located sound side in Navarre Beach Park. The installation of the two Navarre Beach Park sound side tiered reef modules, also known as Walter Eco-System Reef Modules, began May 15 and is expected to take four days to complete.

 

For more pictures and the full press release check out the Santa Rosa County Website

 

 

February 02nd, 2012 | Author:

Santa Rosa County has received and reviewed the final draft Federal Permits from the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE). The county is set to sign the permits and has begun the procurement/deployment process for the beach accessible snorkeling reefs on the Gulf Side of Navarre Beach Park. A final federal (ACOE) permit for the two Sound Side reef sites is expected within the next month. Applications for the required Gulf side and Sound side federal permits were submitted in September of 2009. The federal permit process was expected to take 18 months but has been delayed due to the ACOE activities associated with The Deep Horizon oil spill and associated responses. State permits were granted for both sites in 2009.

The reefs specified in the permit are the Eco System piling mounted disc reefs, a patented design by Walter Marine. If contracting details can be put together within the next two weeks, the reefs could get the go ahead from the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commission (BOCC) as early as February 23rd. The installation process itself will not be long (2-3 days in the Gulf and 3-5 days for the Sound), but a suitable weather window with multiple days of calm seas is critical for the Gulf reef installation. Weather is not as critical for the installation of the Sound side reefs. Depending on the timing of receiving the federal permits for the Sound side reefs and weather conditions, the Sound side reefs may be installed earlier than the Gulf reefs. Historically, the sea state gets calmer as we get into June, but we are hopeful the weather cooperates and the reef installation can proceed as soon as possible.

May 27th, 2011 | Author:

Memorial day weekend is a great time to visit the beach and get some snorkeling in.  Reefs of the same design as those planned for Navarre are already deployed off Pensacola Beach.  This YouTube video provides a view of what the Navarre reefs will look like when deployed.

They are located approximately 1.5 miles east of Portofino Towers on Pensacola beach.  The GPS coordinates for the closest parking lot is  N30.348000,  W87.053787.     The reefs are just to the east of the parking log.  There is a cut in the dunes near the entrance, and you can unload your gear there , then park in the lot.   The reef is marked with a bouy.   There are two poles on the beach which you can use to line yourself up for direction.   The first structure is between the first and second sand bar.

January 17th, 2011 | Author:

Reports from the recent Escambia Marine Advisory Committee meeting indicates the gulf side snorkeling reef permits have been amended to allow shorter pilings (the same length planned for the Navarre site).  This clears the way for the deployment of the eco system reefs off of Pensacola beach near Portofino towers.    It is welcome news for the Navarre Beach reef effort since the design of the reef structures is identical to those planned for Pensacola Beach.  Tests from the piling manufacturer that showed the shorter pilings are actually stronger than the originally planned longer pilings were instrumental in the decision.

Also at the meeting, it was noted that Escambia county is proceeding with reef permits for the same type of reefs at Perdido Key.  With Perdido Key, Pensacola Beach, and Navarre Beach  all having beach accessible snorkeling and diving reefs a Snorkeling Trail is a real possibility and looks to be within our grasp.

According Keith Johnson of  Wetland Sciences, the environmental consultant for the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary Committee the federal permits for the Navarre reef sites are working their way through the process.   A  realistic projected date for having the permits in hand is  June 2011.    Construction and deployment of the reefs and the planned informational kiosk type signs is expected to cost between $160k and $200K.   The Marine Sanctuary Committee is raising funds for the effort and plans to rollout a reef sponsorship campaign this spring.  Also several grants have been and continued to be pursued to fund the project.

To find out more about the physical and financial progress of the project come to the monthly committee meeting January 31st at 6 PM in the conference room of the Navarre Visitor Information Center (Hwy 98 at the Navarre Beach Bridge).