‘Old Pass’ reopening feasibility study moving forward

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County Commissioners are taking another step forward with the East Pass reopening feasibility study.

On Tuesday, commissioners approved MRD Associates, Inc., out of Destin, to proceed with the East, or ‘Old’ Pass reopening feasibility study, allocating $1 million to the project.

“It’s a very popular item in Bay County because most people that grew up here, that lived here for some time understand the value of the exchange of the fresh seawater back and forth into the Bay system,” said Commissioner Bill Dozier.

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The study could take several years, in compliance with Department of Environmental Protection standards, and will study the impacts of reopening the Old Pass opening into St. Andrews Bay near Tyndall Air Force Base. 

Dozier said it’s been a long-time coming, and he is excited to move forward with the project which he believes will benefit the bay system.

“What we want to do is to open it up to help the bay system, the overall environment of the Bay system,” he said. “People in Bay County are excited about it and they remember when it was open before and the beauty of the area that it brought.”

The study is being funded through a RESTORE Act grant the county received for the project in June, 2020.

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