The Navarre Pass can and must be built to complement our local environment. Building a pass that is environmentally friendly must be and is a large part of our mission. Proper research and planning can allow us to pioneer a new frontier in maritime projects such as this. Jetties from locally recycled debris that incorporates “safe water” habitats for reef fish are one example.
We must make it our foremost mission to ensure that we are at the tip of the spear when it comes to minimizing impact and maximizing the benefits to our local ecosystem. The trend in construction is taking a turn towards “green”; the pass project should be no different. Navarre Pass and Santa Rosa County could set the new standard in navigable pass construction practices.
That being said, all development has a degree of impact on the environment. Whether it’s clear-cutting miles of pristine forests for a highway by-pass or beach re-nourishment projects, the benefit-to-risk ratio needs to be considered. Projects like the pass have an opportunity to harmonize with our environment with proper planning and knowledgeable oversight.