Councilmember Prebble Ramswell posted a question to her public Facebook page earlier this month asking if people would be in favor of building a public fishing pier in Destin.
The project has been at the forefront of Ramswell’s mind for awhile, and after reading a recent story about Walton County beginning discussions on building a public pier, she decided to poll her audience.
“We’ve talked for years about the fact that we’re the world’s luckiest fishing village, but we don’t have a public pier or a public marina,” Ramswell said. “A public pier helps promote the whole idea of being a fishing village in that anyone can go and fish there.”
The comments on her Facebook post where overwhelmingly in favor of building a public pier.
“Absolutely!” said Facebook user Carrie Ann said. “We have zero fishing amenities outside of charter. They should have rebuilt Crystal Beach Pier back when it went down.”
Kimberlee Van Damme agreed.
“It would be nice to get people fishing from the beach to a pier, which is a better location than the area where people are swimming,” she commented.
People on the thread discussed possible locations for the pier. Some suggested building one at Henderson Beach where there is plenty of parking while others talked about rebuilding the old pier at Crystal Beach that was destroyed by Hurricane Eloise in 1975.
Others, like Melissa Deeds Bentley, weren’t as enthusiastic about the idea.
“No. That just adds to congestion. The island has one already,” Bentley wrote, citing that the fishing community in Destin doesn’t use a pier to fish regularly.
Ramswell acknowledged that funding would be at the forefront when it comes to moving forward with the building of a pier.
“There are various options for funding, including the BP fund and other grants that we could present to the TDC as viable options,” Ramswell said.
Ramswell will bring the public pier idea to the city council’s June visioning session.
“I plan on gathering some information and bringing it forward in our meeting to gauge whether the council thinks it’s important enough to move forward with it,” Ramswell said.