Plan will not permit vehicles on Matanzas beach

Saying that this plan has taken a long time to complete, Fort Matanzas National Monument Superintendent, Gordie Wilson, has announced to local Historic City News reporters the release of the final “General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement” for the national monument.

Under the new plan, the National Park Service will not seek authority to permit vehicles on Matanzas beach; possibly the greatest bone of contention during this months-long process that included public meetings, an open comment period, letters to the editor, and high anxiety for everyone.

“The beach driving issue has been an emotional and complex component throughout,” Wilson told reporters this morning. “It epitomizes the fundamental challenge in the National Park Service mission, which requires us to preserve our resources while providing enjoyment in a manner that does not impair those resources,”

Key elements of the approved plan will be increased interpretation of the natural environment, minimal development of new facilities, and possible expansion of the off-beach parking areas.

This final general management plan provides comprehensive guidance for perpetuating natural systems, preserving cultural resources, and providing opportunities for high-quality visitor experiences in the national monument for the next 20 years.

The final general management plan and environmental impact statement is now available on the National Park Service website.