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untary pre-payment of $1 billion by BP toward these eventual fines, eight projects have been selected for early funding. Most have to do with oyster habitats along the Louisiana coast or the rebuilding of beaches in Florida, but out of the estimated first $60 million being allocated from this initial payment, $5 million of this is headed to Pensacola, FL, to repair or construct new public boat ramps. Two existing public ramps in Pensacola that were heavily utilized during the clean-up effort, Navy Point and Galvez Landing, will be fully repaired, dredged and have new docks added. Two additional state-of-the-art public ramps, Mahogany Mill and Perdido, will be fully constructed, funded and built on land purchased by Escambia County prior to the oil spill. These ramps will include parking, docks and even educational kiosks. The location on the Perdido River will become the largest freshwater public boat ramp in Escambia County. This is a clear signal that the recreational human loss during the spill is very much under consideration. Even a small percentage of the looming billions in fines BP will be paying could equal a substantial investment in recreational boating infrastructure—a very welcome development for the states along the northern Gulf Coast.

Southern Yacht Club—sail lofts, boat chandleries, restaurants, and two liveaboard and transientfriendly marinas that equal over 1,000 boat slips. West End is now embarking on a nearly $20 million infrastructure investment, which could transform the neighborhood into the sailing and boating capital of the northern Gulf Coast. The massive marina complex is wholly owned by the city of New Orleans, with portions leased out to private entities. After damage from Hurricane Katrina, including the marinas, the complex became eligible for FEMA rebuilding funds. Nearly eight years later, these funds are finally being approved and disbursed after being trapped in a bureaucratic limbo. Rebuilt fishing piers, a fully refurbished Municipal Yacht Harbor, park upgrades, the addition of a large wetlands park, a community sailing center, and new commercial and condo developments are all slated for construction, to begin in 2013, or with planning underway, by that time. These will join the already rebuilt Orleans Marina, private facilities, boathouses and yacht clubs, many of which have existed in this beautiful and historic working marina since the 1840s. Home to a very active cruising and racing population

New Orleans West End Boating Center Rebuilding By Troy Gilbert New Orleans Municipal Harbor. The marina has slowly been coming back to life since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Built in 1830 on piers over Lake Pontchartrain as a resort accessible by streetcars from downtown with jazz clubs made famous by Louis Armstrong, New Orleans’ West End was eventually reclaimed from the lake and today is the recreational boating heart of the city. The area is filled with expansive oak-lined parks, home to two yacht clubs—including the 164-year-old


508-992-0434 since 1984


April 2013


Profile for SOUTHWINDS Magazine