I am a condo owner on Okaloosa Island. One of the reasons I purchased a condo on Okaloosa Island is because of the wonderful Emerald Coast beaches. I believe that a stretch of these beaches is now in significant jeopardy due to diversion of sand away from Okaloosa Island.
East Pass sand, the natural sand supply for Okaloosa Island's beaches should not be used for private beaches in the City of Destin, but should rather follow its natural path to the beautiful public beaches of Okaloosa Island.
If Holiday Isle needs sand, Okaloosa County can use the western Destin beach restoration permit and tourist development funds in reserve to rebuild that beach. A section of Eglin Air Force beach on Okaloosa Island has already washed away due to inlet mismanagement and sand “backpassing.” This cannot continue or our natural resource and tourist attraction will be permanently damaged. This will also come at a cost to Okaloosa County of millions of tourism dollars and resulting tax revenues.
I urge commissioners to reverse the Sept. 3 vote and preserve our beautiful public beaches in Okaloosa Island and protect the investment of property owners on Okaloosa Island.
Melissa Weatherman, Okaloosa Island