The Port St. Joe Port Authority has been issued a permit by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to allow for the dredging of the port’s navigational channel to the maximum authorized depth of 37 feet.
“This is a huge hurdle that has been cleared. What a great opportunity that has presented itself for the Port of Port St. Joe,” said Florida House Representative, Halsey Beshears. “This will have far reaching economic effects for not only the Port St. Joe area but for surrounding counties as well.”
The issuance of this permit represents a milestone towards the overall objective of getting the navigational channel dredged, the port authority said, adding that once dredged, the port will be well positioned for bulk cargo shipments, offering access to rail, the U.S. Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and state and U.S. highways.
“This first permit gives Port St. Joe confidence in the process of re-establishing port operations and bringing economic promise to the region,” says the Port Authority Chairman, Eugene Raffield. “So many community leaders, citizens and The St. Joe Company have put a significant amount of work in this project.”
The federal permit application is in process and the issuance is anticipated in the very near future. Once issued, it will complete all necessary regulatory steps to enable for the dredging to occur.
“The Port of Port St. Joe is an exciting opportunity for all of North Florida and I am proud to support the efforts that surround this project,” said Florida Senator Bill Montford. “We are well on our way to having a sustained economic engine in the Panhandle.”