TDC weighs in on potential St. Vincent ‘mothballing’

Published: Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 09:27 AM.

Public access –which is allowed currently during daytime hours – would also be restricted, though to what extent is not yet clear.

“That is a resource that has helped Gulf County even in ways you don’t know,” Romanelli said.

She noted that in addition to tourism, the island typically hosts wildlife researchers in the winter and seagrass beds around the island serve as valuable ecosystem for several local fishery habitats.

In addition, Sambar deer hunts each year attract hunters from across the country.

Landy Luther, with the Supporters of St. Vincent Island National Wildlife Refuge, said his group provides monthly tours during the season which have become an attraction.

Due to management and public-access constraint, Luther said, it is unclear whether the supporters will be able to continue the tours.

“The tours are sold out months in advance,” Luther said. “We have to turn people away. You take those away and you are taking away public education about the island.”

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