Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Water system working on effluent deadline

Water system working on effluent deadline

Holley Navarre Water System will hit the critical limit for effluent disposal on Nov. 25, 2025. That’s according to estimates by water system senior engineer Phil Phillips. Read the full article in the March 14 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or sign up to receive a digital subscription to […]

Citizens calling for end to Santa Rosa Sound effluent discharge

Citizens calling for end to Santa Rosa Sound effluent discharge

Citizens are calling for an end to permitted discharge of Navarre Beach’s treated wastewater into Santa Rosa Sound within the next five years, and they have successfully petitioned the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to hold a public meeting on the matter later this month. The March 26 meeting is part of Santa Rosa […]

Forest Bay Estates under wetlands scrutiny

Forest Bay Estates under wetlands scrutiny

Roughly 100 acres of discrepancy was more than neighbors and county commissioners could swallow, at least not without a closer look. So, development of the 284-lot subdivision Forest Bay Estates has been put on hold, at least temporarily. Read the full article in the Feb. 7 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription […]

HBTS keeps watch over wetland developments

HBTS keeps watch over wetland developments

Wetlands throughout the Navarre area have unique protections through both state and federal agencies, but these agencies do not get boots-on-the-ground at every building site. In Holley by the Sea (HBTS), an extra set of eyes is double-checking. Read the full article in the Jan. 31 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription […]

Water plant operating at reduced capacity

Water plant operating at reduced capacity

The plan at Holley Navarre Water System to temporarily operate its damaged wastewater treatment plant at two-thirds capacity has been approved by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Further, on Dec. 26 the FDEP issued a revision in the water utility’s operating permit to allow replacement of a treatment tank, called a clarifier, that was […]

County revising Land Development Code

County revising Land Development Code

After years of complaints and questions from citizens throughout the county about how future growth will be managed, Santa Rosa Planning and Zoning Office officials will be working to update the county’s Land Development Code (LDC). The LDC is the decades-old guiding document for all building in Santa Rosa County, covering issues ranging from the […]

Wetlands 101

Wetlands 101

In 2018, Navarre Press featured a three-part series on the impacts of developing on wetlands. We present the three-parts here together.   Wetlands 101:Environmental impacts of development Wetlands Part 2: East Bay water quality at risk Continued loss of wetlands jeopardizes East Bay   Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or sign up to […]

Utility gives Williamson free rein on travel

Utility gives Williamson free rein on travel

With a new travel budget equal to the $50,000 a year authorized for the entire Santa Rosa County Commission, new Holley Navarre Water System CEO Rob Williamson doesn’t need pre-approval for out-of-town trips to lobby or for other purposes. Although volunteer utility board President Will Goulet told the Navarre Press that the $50,000 isn’t a […]

Fairpoint’s finances get big boost

Fairpoint’s finances get big boost

The collective of utilities that supplies Holley Navarre Water System has discovered a line of low-interest credit that can apparently be used to cover much of its infrastructure costs for years to come. John Grant, the volunteer president of Fairpoint Regional Utility System, told the Navarre Press: “We found a million dollars that we didn’t […]

Wetlands Part 2: East Bay water quality at risk

Wetlands Part 2: East Bay water quality at risk

East Bay is a standout in terms of water quality, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, but local Dave Roberts said that has changed over the years. Cutting a divide between Holley and Navarre, East Bay runs along the northern edge of Navarre before hooking up with other bays including Pensacola, Escambia and […]

Water utility accident prompts state inquiry

Water utility accident prompts state inquiry

Holley Navarre Water System has lost at least a quarter of its wastewater treatment capacity due to an operator’s mistake at the utility’s main plant on Sept. 24 and state regulators are requesting details. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has written a letter to HNWS General Manager Paul Gardner seeking “a report of the […]

East Bay sidewalks inching forward

East Bay sidewalks inching forward

East Bay Boulevard residents awaiting completion of a county sidewalk can still expect several months of delay before work continues, but Santa Rosa County officials have hit key milestones. Work on the more than decade-long project came to a screeching halt earlier this year after it was discovered that the county lacked the necessary permits […]

No end in sight to effluent pumped into sound

No end in sight to effluent pumped into sound

Although county commissioners have said for years that cleaning up Santa Rosa Sound is a top priority, the water utility they control will apparently keep putting treated sewage effluent into the bay indefinitely. The county-owned Navarre Beach Water System has applied for and received tentative approval for a five-year renewal of its state permit to […]

Reef deployment on schedule despite storm

Reef deployment on schedule despite storm

Rough, high seas halted deployment of hundreds of reef modules along Navarre Beach, but the project is still on schedule according to representatives with deployment company Reef Maker, Walter Marine of Orange Beach, Alabama. Company founder David Walter said they are getting back to work after Tropical Storm Gordon put things on hold. Read the […]

More than $3 million in improvements coming to Navarre Beach

More than $3 million in improvements coming to Navarre Beach

Construction of additional picnic pavilions and parking facilities in the Navarre Beach Marine Park will get underway shortly after Labor Day, according to Santa Rosa County Grants and Special Programs Director Sheila Fitzgerald. The planned improvements are funded largely by a roughly $2 million Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) grant through the Florida Department of […]

Five things to know: Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners

Five things to know: Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners

Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) handled several requests for park funding NYSA playground to get fresh rubber In Navarre, that meant funding to replace the problematic rubber surface for the playground at the NYSA. District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson questioned why the surface needed to be replaced so shortly after it was installed. […]

Contaminants minimal in Gulf Breeze tap water

Contaminants minimal in Gulf Breeze tap water

Let’s get this part out of the way: the drinking water provided by the City of Gulf Breeze through its two utilities to customers all the way from the city itself to Tiger Point isn’t perfect. But it isn’t likely to make you sick either. Read the full article in the July 12 issue of […]

Saltwater intrusion continuing concern for Holley Navarre Water

Saltwater intrusion continuing concern for Holley Navarre Water

Seven times in the past nine years, Holley Navarre Water System’s (HNWS) sodium levels have exceeded the maximum contaminant level set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). HNWS General Manager Paul Gardner said saltwater intrusion is a common problem for water systems in the area. Read the full article in the July 12 […]

Pier likely to get temporary restroom

Pier likely to get temporary restroom

A restroom is likely to be placed on the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier later this summer, but it will not meet with specifications of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Ken Fountain, a managing partner with pier operating firm Growing Santa Rosa Enterprises (GSE), said his company plans to put an ADA-compliant facility on the pier […]

New chapter begins in water board tumult

New chapter begins in water board tumult

Going full circle in reorganizing for the second time since January, what’s left of the Holley Navarre Water System board seems to be right where it was early this year: promising transparency and better management. But the new era being touted by freshly minted President Will Goulet began with a purge this week. Goulet loyalists […]

Army Corps cautions subdivision about dredging canals

Army Corps cautions subdivision about dredging canals

The waterfront subdivision of Santa Rosa Shores has received a warning of sorts from the Army Corps of Engineers about its plan to dredge parts of the canals that allow boat access to its 231 homeowners. In an eight-page letter, sent to county officials in May, the Army Corps raised questions about possible environmental damage […]

Navarre Beach land preservation deal falls through

Navarre Beach land preservation deal falls through

The future of a vacant, privately owned parcel in the heart of the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary is up in the air again after a buyer interested in preserving the land’s natural state bowed out. County Commission Chairman Bob Cole announced the change of plans to the public May 21 during a board meeting, reading […]

Five things to know: Tourist Development Council

Five things to know: Tourist Development Council

1. TDC gets grant for sanctuary signage and brochures Now that the Navarre Beach near-shore snorkel reef has nearly doubled in size, Santa Rosa County is seeking ways to lead people to it and to the other features of the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary. With that in mind, the county applied for a $10,000 grant […]

Mystery muck appears in Santa Rosa Sound

Mystery muck appears in Santa Rosa Sound

  Walking in his backyard, Navarre resident Duane Gilmore was greeted by an unusual odor and a frightening sight April 26. His home abuts Santa Rosa Sound, and he said looking out over the water that day he could see black, shiny muck floating in the water for several feet in each direction. Read the […]

Eglin nears land lease offer to HNWS

Eglin nears land lease offer to HNWS

The wastewater disposal solution long sought for Holley Navarre Water System (HNWS) at Eglin Air Force Base is now taking shape. In negotiation for years, a lease for spraying on Eglin acreage is considered by HNWS management and Santa Rosa County officials as the best way to satisfy regulators’ requirements for effluent disposal capacity. Read […]

Water board seeks substance amid squabbling

Water board seeks substance amid squabbling

While grappling with issues that could affect how much Holley Navarre Water System ratepayers are charged in the future, the volunteer board that supposedly reached harmony in a January election shake-up has become a familiar war zone with new combatants. “It’s a mess,” said James Calkins, the president who succeeded Bien May this year. Read […]

Holley Navarre wary of effluent spraying deal

Holley Navarre wary of effluent spraying deal

Once closely allied, Holley Navarre Water System and the City of Gulf Breeze are now at arm’s length. Not only is the revamped board of HNWS backing away from a proposed contract under which it would have paid an estimated $8 million dollars over two decades to spray treated wastewater on land that the city’s […]

New courts on Navarre Beach could disrupt nesting

New courts on Navarre Beach could disrupt nesting

Work is underway to bring new volleyball courts to Navarre Beach, but feathery residents and conservation laws could derail that project – and the tourist revenue that would come with it. Plans call for construction of 10 to 15 volleyball courts on the vacant property directly west of the Springhill Suites by Marriott. Read the […]

A house burned – where are the fire hydrants?

A house burned – where are the fire hydrants?

Wednesday, before Thanksgiving, a home on Tupelo Street burned. It was fully involved when the Holley Navarre Fire District and other agencies arrived – and what they discovered was not unusual for them. There was no fire hydrant on the street. Instead of hooking up to a hydrant to fight the fire, they had to […]

Protecting the shoreline naturally

Protecting the shoreline naturally

Paddling along the waterways of Navarre and Gulf Breeze, kayaker Dave Barker is disappointed. He said rather than the naturally sloping habitats that support dozens of species of fish, crabs, shrimp and more, he is greeted by almost continuous sea walls. “Most of the shorelines that I see where residents are, they are not natural,” […]

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