Complaint triggers investigation of activities at The Sound Waterway in Okaloosa County


OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB)- A concerned citizen alerted officials of a waterway problem that is allegedly escalating. Worried that the problems might be true, county officials jumped on a boat and went to get eyes on the water immediately.

“Look, Okaloosa County is not the fun Nazis,” stated Trey Goodwin, Okaloosa County Commissioner, District Four.

This started with a phone call to Commissioner Goodwin’s office. The caller asked him to inspect the growing rental and relaxation businesses setting up shop, on an island known to locals as The Sound.

So, Commissioner Trey Goodwin and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit got to work, launching a fact-finding mission in the Santa Rosa Sound.

“Okaloosa County is concerned about safety for our visitors and is very much concerned about the health, safety, welfare, and quality of life for our residents,” said Goodwin.

From floating blow-up toys and jungle gyms to rental jet skis and more, some say The Sound is beginning to look like Crab Island.

Commissioner Goodwin spoke to the owner of the small business, who set up on the islands. He has his Okaloosa County business license.

“We also have a crew and I keep, I keep our skis on the back-end so that we are not anywhere near the channel, even though the skis can be,” a business owner told us.

Before making any new decisions, Goodwin said he wanted to get his feet wet and see what was happening for himself. Now, Goodwin plans to cross-reference with military officials and the Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Commissioner Goodwin told us he wants to make sure everyone knows, this isn’t about shutting down free enterprise, it’s about safety.

“That’s top priority. And that’s what we are going to protect,” said Goodwin.

Commissioner Goodwin will continue his investigation and bring further updates in the future.

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