The Norriego Point Restoration Project

 The city of Destin, Florida, has entered the next stage of an exciting renovation project to restore one of its most popular attractions. Officials from the city and with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection held a public meeting Tuesday night to confer on plans for the restoration of Destin’s historic Norriego Point tourist area.

“I’m delighted with the plans,” Destin Mayor, Scott Fischer, was quoted as saying. “It looks like they are trying to leave this area in as much of a natural state as the can. This is the last virgin land, the most decent sized piece of land that reminds you of what Destin was like 40 years ago.”

The much-loved area of Destin’s tourist hub has begun to see signs of deterioration in recent years, prompting officials to take action. The new plan centers around erosion control and updated designs for walking and light recreation areas. The design also includes a “sand-tight” extension wall that will restore 1,150 feet of shore, add 5.4 additional square acres of space, and erosion-resistant technology that will preserve the Point for future generations, a step that will save the city from frequent dredging in the future.

 Boats will still be allowed along the beach’s harbor side, but only in designated areas on the East Pass side. East Pass will also see other updates as well, including swimming embankments, additional parking and bicycle racks, dune bridges, and boardwalks. ADA-approved sun shelters and restrooms will ensure accessibility for visitors with disabilities.

 Pearce Barrett, the FDEP’s project manager, is optimistic for the changes; “I think the restoration of the point will not only bring it back to like it was many years ago, but it will protect the interests of the harbor from erosion and it will provide access for everybody, including people with disabilities. There will be more shoreline, more areas for swimming and pathways for people to get around on it and enjoy it more.”

Funding for the project comes from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust, a large trust fund established by BP for exactly the type of restoration project that Destin is undertaking. “The project had to have a restoration component. Florida received damages in areas of environmental recreation and restoration,” Barrett said. “The damage Florida incurred was the loss of recreational use. Therefore, not only would we be doing stabilization, but we also … would then increase access for all people and all abilities.”


Here is where you comment.