MEDIA ADVISORY: Jan. 25, 2013
DEP AND ESCAMBIA COUNTY BREAK GROUND AT MAHOGANY MILL BOAT RAMP
~First new boat ramp from Phase I NRDA projects begins construction~
Officials break ground on the Mahogany Mill boat ramp in Escambia County, a $2.2 million project part of a $1 billion agreement following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
PENSACOLA – Today the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Escambia County Commissioner Gene Valentino and the other members of the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners attended the groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the future Mahogany Mill boat ramp. This ramp is part of the Phase I Natural Resource Damage Assessment Early Restoration projects and has an expected budget of approximately $2.2 million. Phase I includes three other boat ramp projects as well as a dune restoration project; all of which are located in Escambia County.
“The Department is proud of the work that is being done to restore Florida’s Gulf Coast, and restore the loss of access to natural resources which resulted from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard, Jr. “We will continue to work with local communities on early restoration projects, ensuring that the damaged resources are restored and recreational opportunities are enhanced."
The Pensacola-based Hewes and Company, LLC has been selected as the contractor for the project. The Mahogany Mill project will reconstruct Mahogany Mill Road from Olde Barrancas Avenue to Harbor View Marine with street resurfacing, new sidewalks, sewer expansion, landscaping improvements and a 2.32 acre marine park. Once the project is complete, the park amenities will include a new boat ramp, two piers, parking, walking path, picnic shelter, benches and landscaping. Environmental features of the project include pervious pavement for the parking area, which prevents stormwater runoff into nearby waters; a boat sanitary pump out facility and educational kiosks informing visitors about environmental and wildlife issues.
"I appreciate the work our state, local and federal partners are doing to restore the Gulf Coast following the tragedy of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill," said Representative Doug Broxson. "By working collaboratively to identify and fund projects, the gulf's economy and environment have been improving and will continue to do so."
“The Mahogany Mill boat ramp project is truly a great example of a team effort to rebuild and restore our community after the oil spill. The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners is always looking to plan for the future of our community and this project helps with that planning,” said Commissioner Gene Valentino. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the State on these projects that allow our residents to fully utilize and enjoy our wonderful natural resources.”
The funding for this and future projects is part of a $1 billion agreement struck between the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Trustees and BP Exploration & Production Inc. in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010. Pursuant to the “Framework for Early Restoration Addressing Injuries Resulting from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill,” Florida has access to $100 million for implementation of early restoration projects. Escambia County submitted more than $200 million in projects to the Natural Resources Trustees and the state of Florida. With the addition of Phase II projects, just over $11 million has been awarded in Florida.