Destin, Fla. - For years, Destin City officials have been fighting a losing battle against nature. No matter how they tried, they could not keep sand from filling in the Destin Harbor channel at Norriego Point. A permanent solution to help stabilize the erosion is now underway.
Norriego Point sits right here at the end of Holiday Isle guarding the entrance to the Destin Harbor.
"Throughout history in Destin, especially after Hurricane Opal in 1995, this, Norriego Point was actually breeched," explained Sam Seevers, former Mayor of Destin.
Since then, the point has never been able to settle and that's made navigation difficult.
"We are putting good money after bad, because we've not solved the problem. We're just putting a band-aid on it," said Seevers.
Officials say a $12 million, Norriego Stabilization Project will provide the permanent solution Destin has been looking for.
"We are in the first phase, which is the stabilization of the shoreline and in the restoration of the areas that have been lost to the point over the years from hurricanes," shared Pearce Barrett, NRDA Project Coordinator with Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
"This hardening will allow us to reduce the number of dredging. It's going to allow us to harden this side and create swimming areas," said Mayor Scott Fischer, City of Destin.
The two phase project is funded through grants from the Early Restoration Projects from the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill. Phase one is now officially underway.
"We hope that this project is going to secure the harbor. Every single year, hundreds of thousands of dollars is spent, trying to clear the harbor so that our recreational boats, as well as, our charter fishing fleet can get out of the harbor safely," said Seevers.
The entire Norriego Point Stabilization Project should be completed by spring 2019. Destin City officials said Phase 2 will eventually include a recreational area with a public park, boardwalk and restroom facilities.
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