Gulf County commission backs access to St. Vincent

Published: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 11:55 AM.

“We don’t need to lose the eco-tourism that has developed out there,” said resident Pat Hardman.

The Supporters group gathered over 800 signatures on a petition urging the UWFWS to leave the island alone and submitted that petition.

Luther said the next step was a letter-writing campaign commissioners agreed to join. Time is of the essence, Romanelli said.

The expectation is that the USFWS will complete its staffing/ budgeting exercise in the next 15-20 days and the impacts of any decision to reduce public access would likely come this year.

“It is a treasure,” Yeager said.

Meanwhile, there is a possibility that the St. Vincent Island refuge will remain in Apalachicola, and may relocate into the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce building on Commerce Street.

Chamber Director Anita Grove told city commissioners May 6 that she is in negotiations with refuge representatives to possible lease space to them. She said the refuge would need about a half-dozen designated parking spaces, and the commissioners gave unanimous approval to designate the unpaved lot across Commerce Street as parking in the event it is needed.

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