May 2017 Keynotes
News from the Perdido Key Association
Perdido Key Issues
A Terrible Accident on Perdido Key Drive
Eight pedestrians were injured, with some injuries reported as life-threatening, in a single vehicle accident on Perdido Key Drive at about 8:15 PM Saturday, April 29, 2017. According to the WKRG news report at http://wkrg.com/2017/04/29/perdido-key-crash-leaves-eight-hospitalized/, the pedestrians were hit from behind while walking along the road.
More information on the accident and the condition of the injured was not available when this Key Note was released.
County Moving Toward Beachfront Purchase
At its April 6, 2017 regular meeting, the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners approved a recommendation to complete all necessary County requirements to purchase the beach front parcel at 14777 Perdido Key Drive that might provide additional public beach access. The property is between Beach Access #3 and the east end of Perdido Key State Park near where River Road meets Perdido Key Drive. The purchase could expand the beach access and parking available for day use of our wonderful Perdido Key beaches.
Dune Restoration Project Approved!
With agreement from 84% of beach front property owners, Escambia County will be going forward with the Perdido Key Dune Restoration Project to plant sea oats and other appropriate vegetation on Peridido Key dunes. Planting should begin in November 2017. On its website, the County thanked participating owners and noted that it can now receive funding for the project.
Beach front property owners who have not signed up can still do so. If interested, please check out the program at https://myescambia.com/our-services/natural-resources-management/water-quality-land-management/perdido-key-habitat-conservation-plan/perdido-key-dune-restoration-project or contact Matt Posner (email@example.com/850 595-0820).
Florida House Leaves Perdido Key Off Beach Funding Goals
The April 5, 2017 article “Florida House pulls back on $50 million funding goal” by Ryan Mills and Arek Sarkissian in the Naples News Journal reported that the Florida House of Representatives has “skipped over a Perdido Key beach project in Escambia County” in favor of other projects in its latest beach funding proposal. In addition, the House proposal is for less funding than advocated by Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Senate. For more on the issue, see http://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/2017/04/05/florida-house-pulls-back-50-million-beach-funding-goal/100091662/. In an April 27, 2017 article citing Senate budget chief Jack Latvala, $50 million for Florida beaches in the budget seems more likely (see “$50 million in Florida budget a ‘big win’ but only a start” by Alexandra Glorioso and Eric Staats at http://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/environment/2017/04/27/big-win-florida-beaches-score-50-million-state-budget/100975664/)
Representative Gaetz Drops Request for Navarre Pass
District 1 Congressmen Matt Gaetz has reportedly dropped the request to reopen Navarre Pass from his proposed legislation to allow private ownership of property on Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach. According to the April 17, 2017 article “Gaetz: Reopening Navarre Pass on hold for now” in the Pensacola News Journal, Gaetz said that “reopening the pass would have to wait because of concerns from Eglin Air Force Base leaders that increased recreational boat traffic would disrupt important amphibious assault training by special forces and missile testing on a 20-mile stretch of military-owned beach adjacent to the proposed pass.” (Article available at http://www.pnj.com/story/news/local/navarre/2017/04/17/matt-gaetz-navarre-pass/100560828/)
Revised Hurricane Reentry Procedures
According to personnel at the Perdido Key Visitors Center, passes for return to Perdido Key after a hurricane are no longer being issued. To regain entry following evacuation from future storms, owners will need to visit the nearest FEMA station and show a local drivers license or other proof of ownership of Perdido Key property. The FEMA station will then issue appropriate instructions on when and how to gain access to property.
Perdido Kids Park Now Open
Following repairs and upgrades, the Perdido Kids Park at 1004 Gulf Beach Highway has been reopened.
Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day
A reminder that the Third Annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day is scheduled for May 20-21, 2017 in downtown Pensacola at the Plaza de Luna Park on South Palafox Street. If interested in volunteering to help with the event, please contact Rick O’Connor, Escambia County Sea Grant Extension Agent, at 850 475-5230 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the event, go to http://reefrangers.com/event-info/.
Earth Day at Big Lagoon State Park
In an event sponsored by the Florida State Parks and the Friends of Pensacola State Parks, local residents and visitors celebrated Earth Day on April 22, 2017 at the Big Lagoon State Park where they participated in guided tours and various Junior Ranger activities for children. They also learned more about the environment from several nature-related booths and demonstrations, such as displays on turtles, lionfish, and other marine related issues, invasive plant species, marine enforcement issues, and controlled burning practices.
World Oceans Day Scheduled at Perdido Key State Park
The Perdido Key Association, along with the Friends of Pensacola State Parks and Florida State Parks, will be hosting a World Oceans Day event at the West Area of the Perdido Key State Park from 8 AM until Noon on Saturday, June 10, 2017. Beginning with a beach cleanup, the event will include various Gulf of Mexico related exhibits and a number of activities for adults and children. Please put the event on your calendar and plan to attend if at all possible.
May 1, 8-12, 18-22, 30-31 – Blue Wahoos at Blue Wahoo Stadium
May 4-7 – Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival, Foley
May 4-7 – National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship, Gulf Shores
May 4-7 – Emerald Coast Bike Fest, Fort Walton Beach
May 5 – Various Cinco De Mayo events
May 6 – Rosamond Johnson Beach Day, Johnson Beach, Gulf Islands National Seashore
May 6-7 – Heyday Pro Watercross Professional Tour, Pensacola Beach
May 12 – Auto Racing at Five Flags Speedway, Pensacola
May 13 – Orange Beach Wine Festival, Orange Beach
May 14 – Mother’s Day, various restaurant specials
May 19-21 – The Hangout Music Festival, Gulf Shores
May 20 – 1st Annual Camp Fire Car Show, Milton
May 20, 21 – Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day, Downtown Pensacola
May 20-21 – Gulf Breeze Optimist Family Fishing Rodeo, Gulf Breeze
May 22 – Spring Fling Golf Tournament, Perdido Bay Country Club
May 27 – Memorial Day Tribute, Fort Morgan
May 28 – Memorial Day Ceremony, Veterans Memorial Park, Pensacola
Blue Angels practice on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, NAS Pensacola
Bands on the Beach every Tuesday, Pensacola Beach
The following websites provide additional information about events taking place in our great Gulf Coast region:
Perdido Key Association Board of Directors