Tag-Archive for » Gulf Of Mexico «

January 13th, 2012 | Author:

The National Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Phase I Early Restoration plan has been published as a draft and includes eight projects totaling $57 Million to be initially implemented in the 5 states bordering the Gulf Of Mexico. The Early Restoration program will include $1 Billion and is the selected process by which funding for BP Oil Spill damages may begin in advance of the multi year total damage assessment process. The NRDA is one of the government led BP Oil Spill recovery efforts and is associated with the requirement of BP making the public whole from the environmental damages, including loss of natural resources, damage to natural resources and loss of use/enjoyment of the resources.

Two public meetings (Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola) to present and hear comments on the plan have been held and 10 more are scheduled throughout the public comment period that ends February 14th.

Of the eight projects in Phase I draft of the early restoration plan document, two are Florida projects – both in Escambia county. These initial Florida projects total $5 Million with $4.4 Million going for Boat Ramp Enhancement and Construction and the balance funding 2o acres of Dune Restoration along Pensacola beach.

Of the $1 Billion to be paid by BP for early restoration projects, $100 Million will go to each of the five states to manage/implement independently, and $500 million will be for related projects to be managed through the Federal Government’s Department of Interior(DOI) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The $57 Million of Phase I projects included in the draft plan are the initial set of projects being considered with the balance to follow through the NRDA project selection process.

You may view the plan document at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Final-ERP-121311-print-version-update.pdf

Comments can be submitted verbally or in writing at any of the public comment meetings, via mail at US Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O> Box 2099, Fairhope, AL 336533 or via the web at one of the following addresses.


March 10th, 2011 | Author:

County Commissioner Jim Melvin today confirmed that he will commit half of the cost of the reef construction deployment which will be match by the Santa Rosa Tourist Development Committee (TDC) who pledged support in a meeting earlier this week.  His March newsletter on the Santa Rosa County website announces is commitment.

The TDC  pledged to fund half of the cost of deploying reefs into the two Santa Rosa Sound sites and the Gulf of Mexico site being permitted  off of Navarre Beach.  The pledge came during the Wednesday, March 9th South End TDC meeting.  Mandy Evers (Marine Sanctuary Committee Chair person) presented information to the TDC about the current status of the program and answered questions about the reefs, their economic, educational, and environmental impact and the future plans for the reef program.   The commitment during the South End meeting must be confirmed by the full TDC which meets later this month.

Previously County Commissioner Jim Melvin has said in public statements that he will seek to fund the deployment of the reefs and has stressed  avid support of the program.    Today (March 10th) Commissioner Melvin confirmed to Mandy Evers that he will commit the funds pending issuing of the required federal permits.  Once the permits are issued, a formal vote will be held by the County Commission to appropriate the committed funds.

With full funding for the program in hand,  the only obstacle to installing the reefs is obtaining the required federal permits.  State permits have been issued and the Federal permits are going through the final approval process  with the Army Corps of Engineers.    The Marine Sanctuary Committee continues with fund raising an community awareness  activities such as the Run for the Reef and a planned reef sponsorship program to provide features such as  educational interpretive signage, reef maintenance, and funding for unplanned expenses and contingencies.

The 100% funding  is a huge milestone for the Marine Sanctuary program.  We anticipate changing of our slogan soon  from Make Navarre Snorkelicious! to Navarre IS Snorkelicious!

September 29th, 2010 | Author:

A new reef project at the east end of Pensacola Beach in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to pay big dividends for the diving and tourist industry devastated by the oil spill.

In the next few weeks crews will drop 19 pairs of artificial reefs offshore just east of Portofino which is expected to bring droves of snorkelers and divers.  Check out the WEAR Channel 3 report on what it means to the area.

The Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary is establishing the same kind of reef system on Navarre Beach in both the Gulf of Mexico and in the Santa Rosa Sound.  Together with a new effort to bring a similar reef system to Perdido Key, we can establish a Snorkeling trail that will provide a great amenity to residents and visitors.