Who hasn’t driven over the East Pass in Destin and been mesmerized by the pristine blue/green waters of the Gulf of Mexico streaming into the bay? Where else along our local coastline can you find bathers, boaters, anglers, dolphins & sea turtles recreating together? If there’s a reason why it’s called the Emerald Coast you will, undoubtedly find it there.
Navarre saw that potential and in 1965 Santa Rosa County opened a pass of their own just east of the main beach in Navarre. I’m told from those who had the unique opportunity of seeing it that it was spectacular. “The color of the sound seemed to change almost overnight” said one individual. “Boaters from all over the region, as far away as Alabama came to celebrate the grand opening; there must have been over 100 boats in a parade waiting to access the gulf from Navarre Sound” said another. County officials looked to a future of economic growth.
The pass was short lived; only two months had passed when Hurricane Betsy ravished the coastline. Coastal communities’ form New Orleans to Panama City felt the claws of the tidal surges tearing at their beaches. Navarre Pass, still awaiting construction of its protective jetties was filled in with tidal sands and rendered impassable. Local government along with a group of dedicated citizens poured their blood, sweat and tears for years, into re-opening the county’s pass.
The Navarre Pohlmann Pass Committee (NPPC) is the latest effort in revitalizing this coastal commodity. The prospect of a Navarre Pass is not unreasonable as some would have you believe. The idea is still viable. With proper planning, execution and maintenance future leaders of our county could regard this decision as pivotal in the successful development of our economy.
The NPPC is currently accepting donations to help fund preliminary feasibility studies. We graciously accept all donations and look forward to one day bringing our county all the opportunities afforded to our neighboring counties with a pass we can call our own – Navarre Pass