I am stunned. I am absolutely stunned.
On Wednesday afternoon during a meeting at the Legislature Building, the Coastal Zone Management committee approved permits for the proposed Coral Bay marina. This decision, in my opinion, has the ability to change Coral Bay forever.
I believe that Coral Bay would benefit from a marina, but not this marina. The sheer size and scope of Summer’s End Group’s proposal is simply mind-boggling.
So what happens next? The decision can and likely will be appealed. Beyond that comes the federal permitting process – the Army Corps of Engineers being a major factor in the proposed marina’s future. According to Nancy J. Sticht, who works in the Army Corps’ communications office, the Summer’s End Group submitted a permit to the Corps earlier this year. But because the project included federal funds from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Corps was unable to process the application until that agency provides their required environmental evaluation. Once the Corps receives a completed application, a Public Notice will be issued and the public will be invited to speak out in favor or against the project.
Looking back, I should have known this project was a shoo-in when I saw members of the Summer’s End Group engaging in what appeared to be a celebratory manner at Joe’s Rum Hut after the August 20th meeting in which well over one hundred people came out to voice their disapproval against the project.
We reached out to Rick Barksdale of the Summer’s End Group for a comment. He did not respond to our message.