SOUTHEAST DIVE DESTINATION
Peter Leo with anchor from the San Miguel Archangel. Photo by John Fine.
and anchor from the Jupiter shipwreck to be used on land and the two anchors Peter purchased to become part of the underwater park in the planned swim lagoon. The local government is excited about the project as well. “I’m so excited about the snorkeling area. From one acre we are creating six and a half acres of habitat,” says Jean Matthews, the Senior Planner with Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation. “We are going to use limestone boulders underwater. They have many nooks and crannies conducive to marine life. The base will be 50’ wide and will go up in a pyramid. The area will be sheltered from currents. No boats can go in there and the water will be crystal clear and blue.” Matthews prepared many grants that allowed for more than 70 percent of the $2.5 million project to be funded without the use of local tax money. “We partnered with the Florida Inland Navigation District, FIND, 16
they contributed $987,000,” says Matthews. “Florida’s Fish and Wildlife commission contributed $500,000 and Florida’s Boating Improvement Program contributed $50,000 for upland improvement to a walkway and removal of exotic vegetation then replanting with native species. The Palm Beach County Metropolitan Planning Organization gave us $130,000 to create a water taxi dock in Dubois Park from Federal grant money. The water taxi shelter received $65,000.” Matthews also says the town folk are getting in on it too. “The Town of Jupiter has an events plaza as part of their River Walk,” Matthews explains. “In the future the plan is for the water taxi to pick up people at the plaza and bring them to Dubois Park then to area restaurants and the Jupiter Lighthouse. That is in the planning stage. The reverse will happen as well. People will come to the Park and can take the water taxi to Jupiter’s attractions without driving.”
Matthews says the project is an enhancement and program development of Dubois Park. “It will make it a more enjoyable park,” says Kimberly Miranda, Project Manager with Palm Beach County’s Environmental Resources Management. “Part of the shoreline is armored with concrete. This will be removed and we will put in sand so people can use it and access the snorkel area. Zeke’s Marina, near the site, was acquired by the County in 2008. We are putting in fixed piers as well as floating docks. This will allow people to bring their boats and tie up for day use. There will also be fixed piers for boats operated by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Service and Palm Beach County Search and Rescue. The beach will be more accessible.” Dave Lill, Director of Aquatics for Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation says the plans are to set the park up as an
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Southeast Dive News May 2011