Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
April 19, 2018 – 10:30 a.m.
The Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) kicked off its April 17, 2018 Regular Meeting by delivering proclamations showing the city’s appreciation for assistance in ongoing beach renourishment and shore protection efforts. Vice Mayor Len Kreger, who has spearheaded many city efforts to preserve and restore its beaches, placed both proclamations on the agenda.
Nassau County and Tourist Development Council
Fernandina Beach Mayor John Miller delivered the first proclamation to recognize the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners and Amelia Island Tourist Development Council for their partnership and funding participation in the Nassau County Shore Protection Project.
The local funding match required of the City of Fernandina Beach and Nassau County was established to be eleven percent of the total beach renourishment project cost. In 2018, the City/County cost share necessary to facilitate the Nassau County Shore Protection Project was $864,000. The Nassau County Board of County Commissioners dispersed the Nassau County portion of the beach renourishment project cost share via the Amelia Island Tourist Development Council beach preservation fund. Mayor Miller said, “Without the dedicated support and steadfast participation of the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners, Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island would not be the beautiful island residents and visitors have come love and cherish for its beautiful vistas and world-class coastline.”
Nassau County Commissioner and Tourist Development Council Chair Danny Leeper accepted the proclamation. He thanked the city for the recognition and said, “This is a great testament to the great partnership we’ve had working together toward a common goal. Many partners have come together, including the city and the county.” Leeper acknowledged the work of the Navy, Corps of Engineers and the Nassau Legislative Delegation in addition to the county and city efforts. “It’s a true partnership to look after our citizens and the visitors who come here every day. I’m looking forward to continued work with this partnership.”
United States Navy and United States Army Corps of Engineers
The second proclamation recognized the United States Navy and United States Army Corps of Engineers for their continued and combined outstanding beach renourishment efforts to Nassau County’s shoreline. The federal shore protection project was first studied in the 1940’s, authorized in the 1970’s, and constructed in 2008 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District. This unique civil works project has a robust cost sharing mitigation component that receives periodic beach renourishment, funded by the United States Navy, for the maintenance of the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay navigation channel required for passage of Trident Class submarines to their home port located in St. Mary’s, Georgia. The project scope, established in 1988, calls for the delivery of thousands of tons of beach quality sand along the pristine coastline of Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island.
The city extended its gratitude to the Navy and the Corps of Engineers for their “partnership with the City of Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island to maintain and renourish its beautiful shoreline is mutually beneficial to all involved and aids in sustaining a healthy tourism economy and exceptional quality of life for residents and visitors to enjoy.”
United States Navy Rear Admiral Bette Bolivar and United States Army Corps of Engineers Major Edward Jarett accepted the proclamation on behalf of their organizations. Admiral Bolivar said, “We understand the value of our community partnerships. We could not do our jobs without you. Proclamations such as this are greatly appreciated, but it takes a team [to accomplish these projects]. We are grateful for your support.”
Editor’s Note: Suanne Z. Thamm is a native of Chautauqua County, NY, who moved to Fernandina Beach from Alexandria,VA, in 1994. As a long time city resident and city watcher, she provides interesting insight into the many issues that impact our city. We are grateful for Suanne’s many contributions to the Fernandina Observer.