Marina Complex Proposed on Apalachicola River

UPDATED July 14, 2023
Apalachicola Riverkeeper continues to monitor the proposed marina complex along the Apalachicola River in downtown Apalachicola. Various permits are required at the local, state and federal levels for the project to proceed. On July 14, 2023, FL DEP issued a Notice of Intent (NOI), related to the pending approval of state permits. Click HERE to read the NOI.  Apalachicola Riverkeeper and multiple Water Street business owners submitted comments of concern or comments of opposition to the project with regard to the scope and size, as it relates to potential pollution impacts. Navigation hazards into Scipio Creek were also cited in the comments. All permit related documents can be found here.

Related News: DEP Gives Go Ahead to Proposed Marina, Apalachicola Times

Citizen Interest Update from Apalachicola Riverkeeper

August 15, 2022–A riverfront marina-restaurant complex proposal was recently given conditional site plan approval by the City of Apalachicola Planning and Zoning Commission on August 8, 2022. The marina proposal includes a fueling station and 76 vessel slips (28 slips for boat 40-54 ft). Georgia Ackerman, Apalachicola Riverkeeper addressed the commission with concerns and considerations related to the size and scope of the marina project and water quality protection from pollution impacts.

Notes and resources related to permits and marina construction

Marinas and Water Pollution

“Marinas and recreational boating are very popular uses of coastal waters. The growth of recreational boating, along with the growth of coastal development in general, has led to an increased awareness of the need to protect the environmental quality of our waterways. Because marinas are located right at the water’s edge, there is a strong potential for marina waters to become contaminated with pollutants generated from the various activities that occur at marinas—such as boat cleaning, fueling operations and marine head discharge—or from the entry of stormwater runoff from parking lots and hull maintenance and repair areas into marina basins.”

Managing Marina Pollution

“Water pollution from boating and marinas is linked to several sources. They include poorly flushed waterways, boat maintenance, discharge of sewage from boats, storm water runoff from marina parking lots, and the physical alteration of shoreline, wetlands, and aquatic habitat during the construction and operation of marinas.”

Marina Management and Water Protection

Various permits are required by the state, city, and US Army Corps of Engineers for marina construction.

City of Apalachicola

Permit overview provided to the City. See page 96 of packet.


This is within DEP’s jurisdiction, with the DEP ERP_264697 and ERP_163617.

State permit and application documents 

Additional info:!search!search

Review Principles for guiding development for Apalachicola Bay. (State Law)

Principles include:

(c) Growth and diversification of the local economy shall be fostered only if it is consistent with protecting the natural resources of the Apalachicola Bay Area through appropriate management of the land and water systems.

(f) The quality of water shall be protected, maintained, and improved for public water supplies, the propagation of aquatic life, and recreational and other uses which are consistent with these uses.

(g) No wastes shall be discharged into any waters of the Apalachicola Bay Area without first being given the degree of treatment necessary to protect the water uses as set forth in paragraph (f).

City of Apalachicola Land Use Code:


POLICY 4.3 New boat basins shall be prohibited, marinas and other multi-slip docking facilities shall use docks extending out to water no less than four feet deep at mean low tide, and dredging for marinas or multi-slip docking facilities shall be restricted to limited channels for launching boats.

POLICY 7.3 New marinas and multi-slip docking facilities shall conform to the following criteria: a) public use marinas shall be allowed only in commercial zoning districts;

  1. b) non-public use marinas or multi-slip docking facilities shall be allowed only In medium density residential zoning districts and then only If use of docking facilities are limited to use by residents;
  2. c) marinas and multi-slip docking facilities must provide vehicular parking.
  3. d) all parking, dry storage, and non-water dependent facilities must be built on existing uplands;
  4. e) marinas and multi-slip docking facilities shall prepare hurricane plans which describe measures to be taken to minimize damage to marina sites, neighboring properties, and the environment; this hurricane plan shall be reviewed and approved by the Emergency Management Director and the Planning Director;
  5. f) marina or multi-slip docking facilities shall comply with the other policies of this plan; marinas or multi-slip docking facilities which propose to disturb or destroy wetlands or grassbeds shall create new wetlands in compliance with other policies of this plan.

g)marinas or multi-slip docking facilities which propose to disturb or destroy wetlands or grassbeds shall create new wetlands in compliance with other policies of this plan; h) dry slip use shall be maximized in order to minimize impacts on water quality, and minimize the areas extent of disturbance of the estuary; and

1) fueling facilities associated with marinas shall be designed to contain spills from on-land equipment and shall be prepared to contain spills in the water.


Policy 2.1:  By 1995, the City shall establish and maintain adequate docking facilities complete with bilge pumpout facilities at Scipio Creek, Battery Park and all other public and private marinas.  Policy 2.2.:  By 1991, the City shall adopt and implement a comprehensive stormwater management ordinance which provides for: (1) buffer zones between the Apalachicola Bay/River and upland development so that stormwater discharge is diverted away from surface waters; (2) postdevelopment runoff rates, volumes and pollutant loads do not exceed pre-development conditions.  Policy 2.3:  By 1995, all waterfront properties will be serviced by an adequate central sewer system.

Related news stories

Apalachicola Times Aug 10, 2022

Apalachicola Times Aug 3, 2022

City Update

The proposal will not go in front of the commission for public comment unless there is an appeal of P&Z’s recent decision. The project’s site plan was approved with a list of contingencies/things to provide to the City any building permits are issued. If anything on the presented site plan changes, it goes back to City P&Z for review. Site plan approval is valid for one year to get everything in order to obtain permits and begin construction.

Here is list of conditions that City Apalachicola required of the applicant for this project to be considered.

Permits/Approvals Needed:

  • NWFWMD – Stormwater Management
  • FEMA – Flood/Storm
  • FDEP & USACE – Boat Slips/Docks

Other Needs:

  • City Commission agreeance on Right-of-Way improvements and use
  • Hurricane Plan approved by Emergency Management + City of Apalachicola Building Inspector
  • Sewage Pump Out Facilities
  • Fuel Spill Prevention Plan and Equipment for on and off the water
  • Special Exception for Fuel Dispersing in R/F (Riverfront) Zone
  • Parking – Delete 24 Slips per parking regulations
  • Roof Materials must be to Code – no contaminating water run-off from the roof

“Motion to approve contingent on the applicant following up and completing all mentioned tasks in their cover letter and providing related documents to City staff before building permits are issued, such as:

  • Permits/Approvals from outside agencies for stormwater management, flood and storm, boat slips and the docks.
  • Sewage Pump Out facilities planned for/provided
  • Fuel spill prevention plan/equipment on and off water planned for/provided
  • Parking – Mitigate or delete 24 slips
  • Special Exception for Fuel Dispersing Devices in R/F Zone (Riverfront) + items not mentioned in the cover letter, such as:
  • City Commission agreeance on Right of Way improvements and use
  • Hurricane Plan approved by Emergency Management + City of Apalachicola Building Inspector
  • Roof Materials are non-contaminating to Runoff Stormwater
  • All parcels owned by the applicant must be parceled together with Franklin County on Property Appraiser.”

Posted by Georgia Ackerman, Riverkeeper & Executive Director. She can be reached at [email protected]







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