BOCC engages to maintain public access to St. Vincent

Published: Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 10:12 AM.

As a barrier island that is essentially undisturbed from 100 years ago, St. Vincent was, Collins repeatedly said, a “unique” environment worth keeping pristine and natural.

The island has also become a growing tourist attraction, said Marie Romanelli, who with her husband operates a shuttle service from the Indian Pass boat ramp to the island.

“The island is becoming a major tourist attraction as well as wildlife sanctuary,” Romanelli said, noting that during a typical spring week she will field four or five dozen calls from those interested in exploring the island.

“Most people access the island from the boat ramp from Indian Pass even though it is in Franklin County.”

Those people also patronized businesses and restaurants in Gulf County, Romanelli said, meaning the island carries an economic impact for the county.

“St. Vincent is a gem,” said Commissioner Warren Yeager. “There will be an economic impact if they move forward with restricting access.

“A lot of people go out there. Businesses rely on this.”



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