Port Commission drops $500,000 on sand

Jay Bliss, Port and Waterway Commissioner, provided Historic City News readers the following executive summary from the March 2011 meeting.

We started the evening with almost $1.9M in the treasury.

By meeting’s end, we were down to $1.4M.

FIND commissioner Carl Blow and USACOE Project Manager Shelly Trulock are coordinating the dredging of the flood shoal in the ICW just inside the inlet. That sand will be piped to re-nourish the Anastasia Park beach.

A permit is also in place, with no funding from our Federal Government, for the south tip of Porpoise Point. That area has been accreting sand; growing, perhaps, more rapidly in recent years.

On a vote of 3 to 2, with Commissioner Rippe and Commissioner Bliss dissenting, the Board agreed to come to the aid of the Feds and spend $500,000 to dredge and deposit sands on St. Augustine Beach.

Half a million dollars buys some 50,000 cubic yards of sand — 1/8th of the allowable permitted sand accreted at the Porpoise Point spit. The total dredging project will take place in August of this year.

This token project should not influence your prudent approach to the inlet and the shoaling in the entrance channel that materialized in November 2009; especially around channel marker 5.

Buoy positions there have stabilized, but everyone’s watchful eye and alerts to USCG will keep boaters from testing the shoals.

Taylor engineering has the numbers as of March 15 to determine volumes of sand occupying the once-river at SummerHaven. Port will examine them and the many combinations of restoration levels that constitute the scope in subsequent meetings.

Counselor Bedsole presented a list of properties owned by the Port including marshlands on either side of the Vilano boat ramp and territory on Porpoise Point as well as on Conch Island. On Conch Island, the land extends the length of the south jetty and the one small cove just inside Salt Run on the east end of the jetty. Bedsole will conduct a title search on them.

Back in safer waters at the River House fishing and observation dock, the Board agreed that unspent monies from our dock donation could go to lighting and benches.

FWC will be attempting a more expeditious approach to AtRisk and Derelict Vessels, citing owners with misdemeanor charges. Decidedly a more streamlined approach is needed: the derelict that has adorned the marsh just north of Comachee Yacht Harbor has been there since November 2011; it had been picked clean even before it washed on to that shore.

April 17 we’ll see the Blessing of the Fleet, and by extension, the Port.

Port minutes are posted on our website after they’re approved. We now have a vision statement as well as a mission statement. They’ll appear on our website shortly.

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