Choctawhatchee Bay Estuary Coalition approved for RESTORE Act Subaward

Special to Gannett
Choctawhatchee Bay Estuary Coalition approved for $437,500 RESTORE Act Subaward.

CRESTVIEW — The Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners has approved $437,500 in funding through a RESTORE Act subaward to the Choctawhatchee Bay Estuary Coalition. The money will be used for supporting consultant services to draft a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan by the Estuary Program.

The plan will describe projects and how they should be implemented to restore and protect the integrity of the waterways in Northwest Florida.

Okaloosa County is a member of this coalition that includes Walton, Holmes and Washington counties to target water quality, habitat, and natural resources improvements within the Choctawhatchee Bay and its watershed.

“Our waterways and estuaries are our treasure to maintain for future generations,” said Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners Chairman Carolyn Ketchel.“This grant is critical to protect our estuaries for Northwest Florida.”

The Coalition was established in 2017 and is made up of a Board of Directors that includes a County Commissioner from each of the four counties, as well as representation by the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, the Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority, and Eglin Air Force Base as an ex officio member. To gain additional input and guide the development of the CCMP, the Estuary Program has teamed up with the University of West Florida to launch a Community Survey. The survey is available at myokaloosa.com/cbec/public_participation.html.

For more information on the Choctawhatchee Bay Estuary Program, visit myokaloosa.com/cbec/index.html.