Mahogany Mill Boat Ramp Grand Opening Signifies Early Restoration Progress for the Gulf Coast

MM Ribbon Cutting

New ramp provides more access to waters in Escambia County.

June 25, 2014

Today, Florida Department of Environmental Protection representatives and state and local elected officials attended the ribbon cutting for Mahogany Mill Boat Ramp and Park. This new boat ramp is part of the Phase I Natural Resource Damage Assessment Early Restoration projects. The total cost to construct the ramp was more than $2.5 million.

“We are proud of the work being done to implement early restoration along Florida’s Gulf Coast. This project will help restore the loss of access to natural resources, which resulted from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” said DEP Special Advisor Mimi A. Drew, who represents the state as a trustee in restoration issues resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. “We are excited to see these boat ramps are being enjoyed frequently and the local residents’ recreational opportunities have been enhanced.”

All Phase I projects took place in Escambia County and include two boat ramp restorations, an additional new boat ramp and a dune restoration. One of the other boat ramps, Navy Point, has been overflowing with boaters this summer. Mahogany Mill is now open to accommodate additional local residents.

“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,” said Escambia County Commissioner Gene Valentino. “The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners is always looking to plan for the future of our community and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the state on projects that allow our residents to fully utilize and enjoy our wonderful natural resources.”

The project reconstructed Mahogany Mill Road from Old Barrancas Avenue to Harbor View Marine, resulting in a new public road. The road now meets Escambia County standards to include wider travel lanes, an ADA-accessible sidewalk and infrastructure upgrades that include stormwater, sanitary sewer and potable water. The landscaping improvements include a 2.32-acre marine park. The park amenities consist of a boat ramp, ADA-accessible piers, sidewalk, picnic pavilion, benches and restrooms. Environmental features of the project include porous concrete pavement throughout the parking area which allows stormwater to infiltrate into the subsurface eliminating the need for stormwater retention ponds. There will also be a sanitary pump-out facility, as well as an educational kiosk providing information about environmental and wildlife issues.

“Mahogany Mill Boat Ramp and Park project shows how we turned an adverse legacy into an environmental assessment,” said Escambia County Commissioner Grover Robinson, newly appointed president of the Florida Association of Counties. “We are proud of the teamwork between the state and county to make this project a reality for the residents of our area.”

In April 2011, BP agreed to provide $1 billion to the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees for early restoration projects. Each trustee, including the state of Florida, is able to access $100 million for early restoration projects that meet the criteria described in the “Framework Agreement.”

For more information on the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process and projects being submitted visit www.deepwaterhorizonflorida.com.

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