SoWal Residents Concerned About Pier Project

By: Drew Steele Email
By: Drew Steele Email
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South Walton residents have made it clear any future fishing pier development in the Grayton Beach state park is unnecessary.

"That money could be spent to renourish the beaches" said Seagrove Beach Resident Rawlins McKinney.

"Any development like that will destroy this beautiful dune network" said Seacrest Beach Resident Tom Wolfe.

"Well the infrastructure on 30-a is already stressed to the max and to add to that seems like a dumb idea" said Seacrest Resident Chris Wolfe.

"We like it like it is. It's beautiful it's pristine. We don't want to ruin the dunes" said Seagrove Beach Resident Angela McKinney.

"When you put a sixteen hundred piece of concrete out into the ocean you're going to affect sea life, bird life and our life” said Watercolor Resident Kathy Houlihan.

Cliff Knauer is the man who first suggested the pier, as part of the overall department of Environmental Protection Park Management Plan. It also included more parking spaces. But the pier never came up during last year's public hearings.

"In order to get the pier in their management plan it would've had to be a part of their public hearings last year so the chances of a pier going in Grayton State Park at this time are pretty much zero" said Preble Rish Engineering Vice President Cliff Knauer.

The additional parking is also on-hold. Residents against the pier are cautiously optimistic.

"Well relief because we want Grayton Beach to remain this spectacular, pristine, natural scenic park" said Rosemary Beach Resident Clair Bannerman.

"But at the same time I’m a little bit skeptical that perhaps it's off the planning books for the moment but who knows when it might crawl back up again" said Santa Rosa Beach Resident Glenda Wood.

Despite their opposition to the pier, residents agree with Knauer that an artificial reef would be a great alternative.


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