All posts by Tim Nelson

Final Public Notice: DR-4399 CAMA-Damages at East Bay, East Point, and St. Joseph Bay Parks

The Department of Environmental Protection has applied for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) Program funding through the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) as a sub- recipient.

Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), federal actions must be reviewed and evaluated for feasible alternatives and for social, economic, historic, environmental, legal, and safety considerations. Under Executive Order (EO) 11988 and EO 11990, FEMA is required to consider alternatives, and to provide a public notice of any proposed actions in or affecting floodplains or wetlands. EO 12898 also requires FEMA to provide the opportunity for public participation in the planning process and to consider potential impacts to minority and low- income populations. This notice may also fulfill requirements under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

Funding for the proposed project will be conditional upon compliance with all applicable federal, tribal, state, and local laws, regulations, floodplain standards, permit requirements and conditions.

Sub-Applicant: Department of Environmental Protection

Project Title: DR-4399 CAMA-Damages at East Bay, East Point, and St. Joseph Bay Parks

Location of Proposed Work:

Facility Address Latitude Longitude Date of Construction
East Bay Weather Station 108 Island Drive

Eastpoint, Florida 32328








Bay Pole Barn

350 Carroll St.

Eastpoint, FL 32380







 Special Flood Hazard Area Zone:

This project is for repairing and relocating the East Bay Weather Station. In addition, the Bay Pole Barn was replaced back to pre-disaster conditions within the existing footprint. All work is located in a VE- Coastal High Hazard Zone (1% annual chance flood elevation with velocity hazard, wave action). Location in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) was determined by Franklin County Insurance Rate Map, Panel Number: 12037C0394F and 12037C0395F, dated 02/05/2014. The proposed work conforms to all applicable State of Florida and local floodplain regulations. There is a potential for the facilities to be impacted by future flooding events due to its location within SFHA.

Proposed Work and Purpose:

The Department of Environmental Protection repaired and relocated the East Bay Weather Station on an existing elevated dock (GPS 29.769353, -84.881506) to serve its intended purpose providing information for weather forecasts and studying the weather and climate. In addition, the Bay Pole Barn roof and t-top on a twin vee power cat boat was replaced back to pre-disaster conditions and to serve its intended purpose providing storage for equipment and the boat.

Project Alternatives:

 Alternative #1 (No action): The ‘no action’ alternative would ultimately result in a negative impact on Franklin County. If the East Bay weather station was not relocated and the Bay Pole Barn was not replaced, then adverse social impacts may occur.

Alternative #2: Repairing and relocating the Easy Bay Weather Station is the only practicable choice due to repetitive damage. Repairing the Bay Pole Barn back to pre-disaster conditions in its current location is the only practicable choice as it is cost effective and will not result in additional impacts on the natural values of the floodplain.

Comment Period:

Comments are solicited from the public, local, state or federal agencies, and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of the proposed project. The comments should be made in writing and addressed to the Department of Environmental Protection. All comments are due within 15 days of this notice. The Department of Environmental Protection will forward comments to applicable regulatory agencies as needed.

Interested persons may submit comments, obtain more detailed information about the proposed action, or request a copy of the findings by contacting: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency – Region IV – EHP, 3003 Chamblee Tucker Rd – Office #255, Atlanta, GA 30341-4112 or by email at Please include in the subject line of the email “DR-4399-FL EHAD.” Comments should be sent in writing at the above address within 15 days of the date of this notice. Please remove after 15 days after posting.

POSTED ON: (   June 12,  2020    )

End of Notice

Friends Held Annual Meeting

The Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves held their annual meeting January 18th at the Buffer Preserve. Attendees were updated on the state of the Preserves post Michael. Dylan Shoemaker, Buffer Preserve Manager, reported on the efforts to clean up and repair damage to the land and buildings. Jonathan Brucker, Aquatic Preserve Manager, outlined ongoing testing of water quality in the bay and other locations as well as shoreline restoration and cleanup.
Lynda White, President of the Friends Board of
Directors, thanked the Friends for their support and encouraged everyone to get the word out that Bay Day is back, better than ever, on February 8th.   Lynda White

Tram Tours running again!

Beginning Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
And continuing on each THIRD Thursday of the month.

We’re so excited to have our tram tours running again! Space is limited so please email our Environmental Specialist Sophia Fonseca to reserve your spot. Be sure to include how many individuals are attending.  Send Email

The tour is open wagon with no roof. Please bring hats and sunglasses to protect from the sun. The tour will begin on Treasure Road across the street from the Preserve Center. Looking forward to seeing you!  Learn More

Our Friends group land donation has made the news!

Land Donated to State of Florida in Gulf County
~Donation will preserve undeveloped tracts of land for native plants and animals~
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of State Lands, acting on behalf of the
Governor and the Board of Trustees, announces the donation of a valuable piece of conservation land to the St. Joseph Bay State
Buffer Preserve in Gulf County. The 7.23 acre-property was donated by the Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves. This land is part of the St. Joseph Bay Buffer Florida Forever Project.
“This land will help protect one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in northwest Florida and one of the least disturbed coastal
bay systems statewide,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “We thank the Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves for their donation,
partnership and dedication to protecting Florida’s unique natural resources.”
“Acquiring these lots will be very beneficial to the Buffer Preserve. Our staff constantly monitors the natural habitats of many plants and animals,” said St. Joseph Bay Buffer Preserves manager Dylan Shoemaker. “This acreage contains wetlands that are extremely
important to cleaning waters which drain to the bay.”
Managed by DEP’s Office of Reslience and Coastal Protection, St. Joseph Bay Buffer Project will protect the water quality and
productive seagrass beds of the bay by protecting the undeveloped land around it, ensuring the survival of dozens of rare plants. The
land will become a buffer while providing opportunities for the public to enjoy the natural beauty of the bay.
“As President, and along with the entire Board, we are thrilled to be able to purchase these lots,” said President of Friends of the St.
Joseph Bay Preserves Lynda F. White. “One of our major goals has been to assist in every way possible to increase the Preserves’ acreage. By doing so, we are investing in the future of St. Joseph Bay and St. Joseph Bay Buffer Preserve.”
Florida Forever is the state’s conservation and recreation lands acquisition program, a blueprint for conserving our natural resources and renewing our commitment to conserve our natural and cultural heritage. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of State Lands is Florida’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship.

Lester Stars at Turtle Fest

John Ehrman, Lynda White and Lester the Loggerhead

The Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves were well represented at the 3rd Annual Sea Turtle Festival on Sunday, July 1st. Even though it rained most of the day, there were many tourists and residents who stopped by to learn more about the Buffer and Aquatic Preserves.
Lester the Loggerhead, our education ambassador for sea turtles, enabled us to educate visitors about these remarkable creatures nesting on our beaches.  Lynda White