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Money earmarked for Treasure Coast water projects

By Suzanne Wentley staff writer
July 25, 2003

A dozen projects that will benefit both boat owners and landlubbers on the Treasure Coast have been tentatively funded by the Florida Inland Navigational District, FIND executive director Dave Roach said Wednesday.

More than $1.5 million from special navigational taxes will go toward fishing piers, shoreline stabilization and environmental dredging projects in Martin and St. Lucie counties -- if permits are granted in time for the final budget meeting in September.

"Only one out of 10 families has a boat," Roach said. "But we have people paying tax money, and they need to get something out of the deal."

Those who like to keep their feet dry will be able to enjoy three fishing, viewing and crabbing piers at Blind Creek preserve, just north of the St. Lucie Power Plant -- a county project that will total $107,150.

Also, the district agreed to fund $150,000 to remove exotic species in Peck Lake Park in Hobe Sound on the Intracoastal Waterway, along the shady boardwalk that leads to an existing fishing pier.

Other projects that are tentatively funded include:

St. Lucie County's $3.5 million plan to dredge Taylor Creek for navigational and environmental reasons. FIND will offer $800,000 toward the project, but state and federal permits must be obtained, Roach said.

A new 26-foot-long boat for law enforcement in Martin County.

Adding a dozen more slips to the floating courtesy dock behind Stuart City Hall, as well as new channel markers for easier docking.

Shoreline stabilization at the popular North Causeway Island in Fort Pierce, where picnic shelters are currently jeopardized by erosion, and Twin Rivers Park in Rocky Point.

$12,000 in sign improvements at Stuart's Southpoint Anchorage.

A trailer, new molds and ingredients for reef balls -- artificial reefs made by Martin County students that will be set in the Indian River Lagoon for oyster and juvenile fish habitat.

- suzanne.wentley@scripps.com

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