Marine Advisory Committee
December 4, 2012
The Marine Advisory Committee met on the above date with the following members present: Jeff Marker, Rick Harris, Pasco Gibson and Scott Mason. Also present were the County Administrator, Hunter Walker; Chris Verlinde, Marine Extension Agent; Roger Blaylock, County Engineer and Avis Whitfield, Public Works Director. Jeff Marker, Chairman called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.
The minutes of the August 7, 2012 meeting were approved.
ARCHIE GLOVER REQUEST
Mr. Whitfield received a citizen request to add another fishing dock at Archie Glover. The request was to add another dock closer to the I-10 bridge. Mr. Whitfield explained that the property closer to the bridge belongs to the Department of Transportation. After thorough discussion it was decided that the situation should be monitored and addressed at a future meeting if deemed necessary.
Jeff Marker advised that there is a big hole in the area near the Archie Glover Boat Ramp that may need to be filled to bring it up to a depth that is more fishing friendly. Pasco Gibson said that he would be opposed to changing it because it is still a viable fishing area. Trout fishermen love it.
Mr. Marker asked for an update on the grant process. Chris Verlinde said that we did not receive the grant this year. She is working on the process for the next grant cycle.
Mr. Walker advised that there will eventually be BP money available for restoration projects and this committee will have an advisory role in how the money is used. He mentioned that the February meeting may be a good time to discuss a list of potential projects for vetting to present to the RESTORE Council.
Mr. Marker asked if the oyster project on White Point is still in the works. Chris Verlinde replied that it is still a work in progress but they have put in about 11 acres so far and the work will go on for one more year. The Nature Conservancy submitted a proposal for an oyster reef south of Escribano Point and they are taking some people from Escambia County over to Mobile to look at some of their projects on December 19th and the MAC is invited.
Pasco Gibson noted that the oyster system in our bays have deteriorated since Hurricane Ivan and harvesting oysters is not a commercial interest anymore and Santa Rosa County does not get the help needed from the Department of Agriculture. The help they are sending is in the form of substandard material in the form of lime rock. Clam shells are needed and a message should be sent to the Department of Ag that we need their help. Rick Harris said that it needs to be a priority for BP money too. Mr. Gibson said the County needs to refuse the lime rock as they do in Franklin County. Jeff Marker said a Resolution from the County Commission is needed. Scott Mason said there is a lady named Heather in Gulf Breeze that specializes in this who may be a good resource. Mr. Walker advised that Chris Verlinde will research the matter and get something together to present to the Board.
Scott Mason reminded the Committee that the bay bridge project could generate some reefing material for our area. Rick Harris mentioned that White’s Bridge and Bass Hole Bridge will be rebuilt and we should start now trying to get the necessary permissions to put the old bridge material in the gulf. Roger Blaylock said the DOT will work with us but will not pay extra if it is more costly.
PROJECTS / ISSUES UPDATE
Avis Whitfield said the ramp and parking lot will be ready this week at Chumuckla Springs and if all goes well with the weather it should be completed in 5 or 6 weeks. Sandy Landing will be locked on January 1st and will never open again.
Boater Registration fees as of December 1, 2012 is $68,774. Mr. Whitfield reminded the Committee that there will be some expenses for new “No Wake” signage for the Archie Glover Boat ramp and Indian Bayou areas.
NEXT MEETING DATE
The January 1, 2013 meeting will be cancelled and the next meeting will be February 5, 2013.
There being no further business to come before the Committee the meeting was adjourned at 5:40 p.m.