New Plan For Dredging Of Destin East Pass Raises Concerns

By: Drew Steele Email
By: Drew Steele Email

Destin’s East Pass inlet has had its issues the last few years. There's been at least one emergency dredging project to open the Destin harbor channel. Now the state is finalizing a new inlet management plan.

"The study was just a very comprehensive review of the coastal processes that were occurring in the inlet" said City of Destin Development Manager Steven Schmidt

Dredging would take place under the new state guidelines. City officials say crews would pile the excess sand on beaches in need.

"Sand from a dredging is placed on the adjacent most eroded beaches. So it's basically placed where it's needed the most" said Schmidt.

But Okaloosa island resident Dave Sherry claims piling sand east of the pass will create a build-up over time, while beaches west of the inlet will continue to erode.

"The plan goes against the natural flow of sand and it will cut off the down drift communities. It will make us dredge the inlet more" said Okaloosa Island resident Dave Sherry.

Sherry says the repetitive inlet dredging is unnecessary.

"I'm proposing that we implement a solution that'll actually work with nature and not against nature. That we keep bypassing commitments in the plan, so that we have assurances that the beaches down drift will get the sand supply that nature intends" said Sherry.

Destin city officials say the state has control of the plan and is scheduled to present it in early May.


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