SGI Landings Proposal

December 30, 2023-The Landings at St. George Island

On March 5, 2024, beginning at 5:00 p.m. (ET), the Franklin County Board of County Commissioners will hold a public workshop to discuss The Landings at St. George Island, FL located at 41 West Bayshore Drive, St. George Island, Fl 32328. The meeting may be attended in person or via Zoom. A zoom link for the public workshop will be provided prior to the meeting and can be found on the Franklin County website at www.franklincountyflorida.com.
Apalachicola Riverkeeper is highly concerned abhout the proposed activities impact on natural ecological conditions and the hydrological relationship between wetlands, surface waters, and uplands.
The proposed development at St. George Island includes the following:

  • 154 dwelling units (hotel, short term rental and single- family units)with hotel bungalows constructed over wetlands instead of fifty feet from wetlands*
  • 160 dry stack boat storage 
  • 10 wet slips with sewer pump ou
  • Increased nutrients to bay from wastewater disposal and stormwater 
  • Maintenance dredge of  channel containing sea grasses from boat basin to intracoastal waterway; not dredged  since 1980
  • New dredging and maintenance dredging of boat basin which may have poor circulation and flushing
  • Spoil disposal on site within floodplain 
  • A breakwater/ revetment to prevent erosion resulting from boats using channel
  • Requires fill in surface water for dry stack boat storage  and in existing canal
  • Requires fill in wetlands
  • Eliminates access to beach for public access due to location of breakwater/revetment
  • Requires a water quality monitoring plan
  • Requires wetland mitigation at 2 to 1 ratio

*The proposal is inconsistent with the comprehensive plan regarding protection of wetlands and wetland setbacks.

Apalachicola Riverkeeper strives to keep our shared natural resources safe from injury, harm, or destruction.

Apalachicola Riverkeeper is highly concerned about the proposed activities impact to natural ecological conditions and the hydrological relationship between wetlands, surface waters, and uplands.

Apalachicola Riverkeeper is concerned about the functional loss of ecosystem services and ecological value due to activities such as dredging to create channels, spoil filling wetlands, prop scarring of seagrass, dock shading, and runoff. The proposed development is in close proximity to a designated Outstanding Florida Water: an area of national, state, & regional ecological significance as well as important habitats such as seagrass beds, high quality wetlands, and oyster reefs. 

There are two oyster reefs, Easthole and Hotel, that are near the proposed development. Easthole is an active reef and has been a highly productive area in the past. Currently there are 4 restoration reefs of one acre each. FWC plan to deploy about 32 acres of material there next year. Hotel Bar supports oysters but at a lower abundance and has received restoration efforts in the past 10 years. It is possible that it could receive future restoration attention given it’s proximity to Easthole as well as its suitable substrate.

If this development leads to its closure due to poor water quality, there will be negative impacts from an ecological and fishing perspective. 

Salt marshes and seagrass are some of the most biologically productive natural communities known.  They serve as shelter or nursery grounds for many invertebrates and fish. These habitats serve as important food sources for manatees, marine turtles, recreational and commercial marine species such as mullet, blue, oysters, and shrimp. The smaller minnows and juvenile fish also provide food for many recreationally important fish, such as tarpon, flounder, red drum, and spotted sea trout. They also improve our water quality by slowing down water runoff and filtering pollution. These natural resources assist in erosion control by reducing the wave-energy on the bottom and promotes settling of suspended particulates. The settled particles become stabilized by the dense roots and rhizomes.

Related News: https://franklincounty.news/2023/08/10/developers-eye-st-george-island-resort-and-marina/

 

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