Public comment open for Marine Park parcel purchase

State officials are seeking feedback on a proposal to purchase the only developable land in the Navarre Beach Marine Park to convert it to county ownership. The proposal would cost $2 million in BP oil spill restoration funds.

The Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Florida Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) has proposed the idea as the third phase of the Florida Coastal Access Project. An open house and public meeting was held at the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station on Thursday, July 18 to present the Florida Restoration Area Draft Phase Version 3 plan. The draft proposes acquisition of an approximately 4.75-acre privately owned in-holding parcel within the existing Navarre Beach Marine Park — the preferred alternative for the Navarre Beach Marine Park addition.

This version 3 plan consists of land acquisition only; construction of recreational amenities is not proposed. The parcel would become part of the Navarre Beach Marine Park and would be owned by Santa Rosa County, who would be responsible for maintaining it as part of the county park system. Deed restrictions would ensure the property remains in the county park system in perpetuity. Acquisition of the Navarre Beach Marine Park addition would continue the process of restoring natural resources and services injured or lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The deadline for citizen feedback on the third phase of this project is Monday, July 22. Comments can be submitted at https://bit.ly/2Z12ul7 or mailed to:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 29649
Atlanta, GA 30345

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