'A done deal': Destin to receive $10.2 million for Norriego Point stabilization

Norriego Point 122013
Kathy Harrison | The Log
Published: Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 02:46 PM.

After a decades long battle with shifting sands and storm erosion, funding for the long-term fix for Norriego Point has been approved.

"It's a done deal," Mayor Sam Seevers told The Log minutes after the announcement was made in Panama City. "This funding will enable us to do all aspects of this project — this is the whole enchilada."

Seevers, along with Lindy Chabot and Steve Schmidt from the city of Destin were at the Panama City Marina as Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel Vinyard Jr. announced the city would receive $10.2 million in funding through the Natural Resources Damage Assessment program, created in the wake of the 2010 BP oil spill.

To see a time-lapse video of Norriego Point's erosion over the years, CLICK HERE.

Based on the project application, city leaders aim to protect, stabilize and re-establish the recreational opportunities along the continually eroding spit of land that marks the entrance into Destin harbor. In addition to stabilizing the point with a rock-heavy design, the city will also build several erosion control structures to dissipate wave energy; restore the point to pre Hurricane Opal size (adding roughly 8 acres of land mass); two new embayments for additional swimming; plus a picnic area with pavilions and restrooms, showers, drinking fountains, educational signage, a multi-use trail and bike racks.

While she was admittedly "giddy like a school girl," Seevers told The Log that she didn't cry when the announcement was made, despite an overwhelming rush of emotion.

"Our city staff worked really hard to make this happen," she said. "There were people who said this project wasn't a good fit, and at one point the project was removed from the list, but we fought to get it put back on there."

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