March 2, 2010
The Marine Advisory Committee met on the above date with the following members present: Chairman Jeff Marker and members Rick Harris and Dan Wakley. John Griffing and Pasco Gibson were absent. Also present were the County Administrator (Hunter Walker), Public Works Director (Avis Whitfield), County Engineer (Roger Blaylock), Marine Extension Agent (Chris Verlinde) and Kathy Jordan. Chairman Marker called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.
The minutes of the February 2, 2010 meeting were approved.
BLACKWATER RIVER MARKING SYSTEM UPDATE
Danny Keiek, of 7419 Judge McCall Road in Milton, representing the Blackwater River Pirates said they are now working with the private property owners to get permission from the owners to place the signs on their property. Mr. Keiek introduced Doug Whitfield of 5390 Munson Hwy., one of the private property owners along the river to give his opinion of the sign project. Mr. Whitfield stated that he believes in the project especially for the emergency assistance it will provide for search and rescue. He stated the letters are in the mail to private property owners along the river asking permission to place the signage. He noted that several of the owners live out of the area and two of the prime sandbars are owned by Escambia County. He asked for direction as to who to contact in Escambia County and Jeff Marker responded that Robert Turpin, Chief of Marine Services, should be able to assist. Mr. Whitfield noted that there are 13 sand bars and Escambia County accounts for 2, he has one with a balance of 10 some of which are out of state LLC corporations.
Mr. Wakley asked for a description of the actual signage. Mr. Keiek noted that the sign will be about 12 x 24 with either red or green reflective lettering. Both the sign and post will be galvanized steel. Brad Baker noted that everything has to be permitted through FWC and the property owner’s information has to be provided on the application.
Mr. Walker directed that the Pirates work with Brad Baker and advised that the County will take care of the cost of the signage and the posting of the signs. Mr. Keiek said that the Pirates would like to participate with the installation and will work with Mr. Baker on the GPS coordinates and signage. He also noted that the costs should not be much more than $1,000.
DERELICT VESSEL UPDATE
Roger Blaylock reported that the MAC can proceed with a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners for RFPs on both the sailboat in Gulf Breeze and the 1
Symphonia for removal. He noted that he has talked with the DEP and the County does have permission to proceed with floating the vessels and bringing them to the shoreline for disposal. He also noted that he has obtained permission from the property owner at the Symphonia’s location. DEP will require a letter outlining the removal plan for the Symphonia and thanks to the recent media coverage the Engineering department has been contacted by marine contractors who helped to lay the groundwork for the RFPs. Mr. Blaylock recommended that the MAC present a request to the Board of County Commissioners to go out for proposals for the removal of the Symphonia utilizing an upland salvage area and write the proposal to meet the property owner’s liability requirements. Mr. Harris made a motion that the MAC follow staff’s recommendation. The motion was seconded by Dan Wakley and approved without objection. Mr. Walker said that Boater Registration fees can be used to fund both removals.
Gary Bundy of 8237 Lyrick Drive, Pensacola, stated that he owns property on Trout Bayou and requested help with removal of a derelict vessel partially submerged in the canal. Mr. Marker noted that the vessel would have to be declared derelict by the FWC first and advised Mr. Bundy to get guidance from FWC. Mr. Harris said that the MAC will be happy to help when he has direction from FWC.
FLORIDA BOATING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (FBIP) GRANT CYCLE
Mr. Walker contacted both the City of Milton and City of Gulf Breeze to advise them that the County does not have a project for this grant cycle and gave them the new grant deadlines and application information for their use.
FLORIDA ARTIFICIAL REEF PROGRAM GRANT CYCLE
Chris Verlinde mentioned that she had talked with Robert Turpin about working on the artificial reef again this year. With MAC direction she will prepare the application for approval by the Board.
CHAIRMAN / MEMBER ISSUES / REPORTS
Dan Wakley updated the MAC on the preparations for the Safe Boating event scheduled for May 22, 2010. He has contacted the Auxiliary Coast Guard Flotillas for Pensacola, Milton and Destin and requested that they supply inspectors for boating safety inspections. He would like to do some public awareness activities to make the public aware that the Auxiliary Coast Guard does this at various locations in the County throughout the year and to assist the Auxiliary Coast Guard with their membership drives. The FWC has also agreed to participate by providing static displays of their boats, tents with safety information including information for fishermen with current catch sizes and limits. Mr. Wakley would also like to recognize with plaques of appreciation the Coast Guard Flotillas and FWC with special recognition for Howard Jones at a Commission meeting prior to May 22nd and he would like to have the month of May declared Safe Boating month. Mr. Walker suggested that the second meeting in April would probably work best for the Board.
Mr. Wakley also reported that he had received a lot of offers to help. He is going to set a goal of 100 boat inspections. Chris Verlinde has talked with the Marine Science people and they will have an open house with activities and demonstrations. All water related clubs will be invited along with the reef associations and they will be able to promote their membership drives. There will also be a nautical swap meet. The Navarre Beach Fire Department is onboard with safety demonstrations on flares, signal flares and fire extinguisher demos with fire trucks on standby. Mr. Walker suggested that Mr. Wakley work with Ms. Verlinde on the press releases. Mr. Wakley noted that the date of May 22nd for the event coincides with National Safe Boating week.
Scott Mason of 4095 Diamond Street, Pace suggested that Mr. Wakely set up a location to take in outdated flares. Mr. Harris said you can bring them to the landfill six days a week from 7:00 to 5:00 and March 27th is Amnesty Day. Mr. Marker asked if Mr. Wakley can offer that option at the Safe Boating event. Mr. Wakley agreed that he would be responsible for gathering and disposing of the outdated flares but Mr. Harris suggested that they postpone that suggestion until he checks into it further so that it doesn’t overload them with hazardous waste. Mr. Wakley agreed and asked that he report back.
Mr. Blaylock reported that the southern half of the Navarre Beach floating boat ramp is in disrepair and currently roped off and will be repaired when weather permits. The northern floating dock is operational the southern one is out of commission. It is an ongoing maintenance issue because of wave action.
Mr. Wakley asked what happened to the request for channel markers in the sound at Juana’s. Mr. Walker said he thinks that project was in the works prior to Hurricane Ivan and was lost during that process. Ms. Verlinde will look into it.
Mr. Blaylock reported that the Archie Glover channel dredging project is with FWC and as soon as they cut it loose they will be put out to bid. The Navarre Beach Fishing Pier contract is slated to be in place when the pier opens.
Chris Verlinde said the first truck load of shell is being delivered to the Garcon Point staging area this week.
Mr. Marker said the Boater Registration Fee Fund has a current balance of $510,259.
Mandie Evers, Co Chair for the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary, 1567 Fuller Dr., Gulf Breeze said they would like to be a part of the Safe Boating event and requested direction for signage on Navarre Beach for their sponsorship program. Mr. Walker advised her to work with County staff and directed her to contact Roger Blaylock and Terry Wallace who will, if appropriate, present it to the Board of County Commissioners.
NEXT MEETING DATE
The next meeting is scheduled for April 6, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.
There being no further business to come before the Committee at this time, the meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.