The Port St. Joe Port Authority has been issued a permit by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allow for spoil disposal as part of the planned dredging of the port’s navigational channel to the maximum authorized depth of 37 feet.
“The significance of this permit is immeasurable at this time. It opens the gateway for economic opportunities in this area that has not been seen in recent years,” said Rep. Halsey Beshears (R-Monticello).
The issuance of this permit, SAJ-2007-01572, represents the final milestone in the administrative process and will allow the port to commence with the dredging phase of the project.
“About one year ago, we began this journey by submitting our applications for both the state and federal permits to dredge and deposit spoils for the port channel,” said Port Authority Chairman Eugene Raffield, “the approval of the this permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was the last regulatory requirement before dredging the channel.”
“The Port of Port St. Joe has great potential to be an economic driver for North Florida, and this permit marks a big step towards opening the port for business. I am eager to see things move forward and I stand ready to be of assistance in any way needed,” said Senator Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee).
Once dredged, the port in Port St Joe is well positioned for new shipping and industrial opportunities, offering access to rail that will extend to the bulkhead, the Intracoastal Waterway, and state and U.S. highways.
“Florida ports are working hard to ensure that they are ready for prime trade opportunities, which means that they have to have the infrastructure and facilities necessary to compete,” said Doug Wheeler, president and CEO of the Florida Ports Council. “We congratulate the Port of Port St. Joe in reaching this milestone in moving their port toward being a viable economic engine for their community and beyond.”