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Approved Feb 4, 2014 - Marine Advisory Minutes


Marine Advisory Committee

February 4, 2014

Milton, Florida

The Marine Advisory Committee met on the above date with the following members

present: Jeff Marker, Scott Mason, and Scott Walker. Also present were the County

Administrator, Hunter Walker; Chris V erlinde, Marine Extension Agent; Roger Blaylock,

County Engineer; Sheila Harris, Grants Coordinator; and Avis Whitfield, Public Works

Director. Chairman Jeff Marker called the meeting to order at 5:00p.m.

The minutes of the December 3, 2013 meeting were approved.


Sheila Harris, Grants Coordinator for Santa Rosa County gave an update on the NRDA

Phase III Public Hearing which took place last night. She said the purpose of the meeting

was to inform the public on the NRDA process. Each project was briefly described and

is in the Summary sheet (see attached). She stated that there was discussion on the

Pensacola Fish Hatchery which seemed to have mixed support and also some comments

from the Audubon Society regarding the Navarre Beach projects and the concerns with

bird habitat.

Ms. V erlinde stated that she had met with an individual from Florida Fish

& Wildlife to


There was discussion about allowing Fish

counties being involved with it. Mr. Walker said if the county did the contracting they

would have the flexibility to make changes as they deem necessary and would probably

be done much like in the past through an artificial reef grant. This committee would then

recommend a design.

Mr. Walker stated that the Audubon Society had concerns about two boardwalk

crossovers, one gulf side and one sound side. The concern seems to be more about the

gulf side crossover that was actually just lifted from the DEP state plan when they had

developed the original state park in the early 2000's where they ended up with more

project than money. Mr. Walker said that they excluded the

we call the 3rd dune crossover pavilion that is on the gulf side. He said that we took their

design, updated it and then submitted it as a NRDA project. It is included in the list but

the concerns seem to be parking and whether or not it conflicts at some level with the

nesting birds.


Mr. Marker asked what we might have available through our typical programs this year

without the NRDA funds. Mr. Walker referred to the FBIP grant information that Sheila

Harris had compiled which shows the application period and eligible uses. He added that

this can't be used for artificial reefs. Ms. Harris said that the application typically takes

30 or more days to develop and the Board of County Commissioners will need to provide

input on a proposed project. She suggested that if anyone has a proposed project that

meets the attached guidelines to email Avis Whitfield or Roger Blaylock. If the project

does meet the criteria it would be taken to the Board before developing an application.

& Wildlife to do all the contracting or the4th crossover which is what


ramps. Mr. Whitfield said mainly the maintenance of what we already have rather than

new construction. He added that they do. allow piers and docks which we already have at

our ramps.

Ms. Harris said another consideration would be to request funds for construction but the

permits would either need to be in hand or been submitted by the time of the application

submittal She added that you could expect the permit approval within 60 days but if

they award the grant and you don't have the permits in hand, the grant funds will be taken

away. She said that a preliminary design grant could be applied for but typically that is

done in house.

Mr. Marker asked if there were any artificial reef projects coming up. Ms. V erlinde said

there is presently an RFP open. She added that she had spoken with Mr. Turpin about

resubmitting the project because the sites have now been permitted but he indicated that

he didn't think it would score well because the whole panhandle is receiving money in


Marker asked Mr. Whitfield if he knew of anything we might need for our boat

artificial reef development.

big vessels and Ms. Verlinde said it would not be through the NRDA process.

Mr. Mason asked about allocations becoming available for


Scott Walker reported that he had taken a trip out to Webb, Keyser, Chumuckla,

Williams and Carroll landings and distributed photos that he had taken. He stated that

they were all very well maintained but did note that there is a sunken boat at Williams

Landing that looks as if it has been there for a while but is not in a hazardous area.

There was discussion about the log jam on Escambia River and whether Escambia

County would pursue a grant.

approved participating with Escambia County. Scott Walker said he had spoken with

Com. Salter who is aware of the jam.

much there were going to clear out and how much they were going to leave.

said he would get an update from Com. Salter.

touch with

matching funds with them.

Mr. Walker said that at one time Santa Rosa County hadMr. Mason said there was another issue of howMr. WalkerMr. Mason said we should also get inMr. Turpin and inquire about the marine sources since we were going to do



Boater Registration Fees as of January 31, 2014 is $140,917.


The next meeting is scheduled for March 4, 2014 at 5:00p.m.


There being no further business to come before the Committee the meeting was

adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

discuss artificial reefs. She said that out of the 11.8 million dollars being allocated for

artificial reefs, this will not only be for deployment but for admin costs. She added that

the permitting costs are not included in this amount. She said that at this time it is not

known what the share will be for each county and if we will get specifically what we had

asked for. She said that hopefully we will know something in the next three weeks. Mr.

Marker asked if we would be able to provide input as to the location provided that some

of the money and material will be coming our way. Ms. Verlinde reminded the

committee that this is not an open process when there is litigation involved. She said that

the trustees and attorneys will be the ones to make the decision. She added that at last

night's meeting one of the things that was expressed was if individuals would like to

make comments, the public comment period is open until February 19th and can be done

through mail or online. Mr. Walker encouraged everyone that wished to make comments

to make sure to note that they are a member of the Santa Rosa County Marine Advisory


Mr. Walker said that Robert Turpin had attended the meeting last night as well as their

MAC Chairman who spoke generally in favor of reefing and reef projects. He added that

comments had been made that there were too many reef projects that they view as

recreational projects as opposed to habitat enhancement.