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Now that Fish Island has been procured by the state of Florida, the City of St. Augustine is in the process of obtaining a lease agreement and creating a land management plan. Florida’s Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC) requires that a management plan be submitted for approval within 10 months of an executed lease. Included in this management plan will be natural and cultural resource information, recreational/conceptual land use and goals, and a budget with a 10-year planning horizon. Other important aspects of the planning process include a schedule for public workshops and the creation of a Management Advisory Group (MAG).
The MAG will be comprised of members representing organizations such as Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Forest Service, Soil and Water Conservation District, Anastasia Mosquito Control District, North Florida Land Trust, Florida Public Archaeology Network, St. Augustine Archaeological Association, in addition to other local organizations and individuals. The group will provide direction and input for the plan.
As the plan is being written, and to provide updates about the project, the City has created a dedicated section of its website to Fish Island, www.CityStAug.com/FishIsland. Visitors to the website will have access to photos, videos, historical information about the island, frequently asked questions, a public input questionnaire, and more!
The Fish Island Public Input Questionnaire is an important component of the plan as it seeks responses to questions concerning important aspects of what the property will look like in the future, such as what recreational opportunities and amenities the public would like to see at Fish Island. The community is encouraged to take the online survey, which takes less than five minutes to complete, and opt-in to subscribe to receive email updates from the city.
The city hired J.B. Miller, a biologist with over 30 years in land management, as the Land Management Coordinator. “Fish Island is an extraordinary place with outstanding natural and cultural resources,” said Miller. “This website will offer a one-stop-shop for all things Fish Island, including an opportunity for the public to provide feedback via a questionnaire.”
Fish Island, located at the east end of the 312 Bridge, is a park with trails, beautiful views, and a rich cultural history. The City of St. Augustine, with considerable community support and numerous partners, has worked tirelessly in the acquisition and cleanup of this island. A complete list of partners is available on the website.
For more information, contact J.B. Miller, Land Management Coordinator, via email at FishIsland@CityStAug.com, or call 904.209.4270.
Media inquiries may be directed to Melissa Wissel, Communications Manager, at 904.825.1053 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.