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... Florida’s Rural Counties 32 of Florida’s 67 Counties have a population of less than 75,000 Almost all are designated as Rural Area’s of Critical Economic.

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Presentation on theme: "... Florida’s Rural Counties 32 of Florida’s 67 Counties have a population of less than 75,000 Almost all are designated as Rural Area’s of Critical Economic."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Florida’s Rural Counties 32 of Florida’s 67 Counties have a population of less than 75,000 Almost all are designated as Rural Area’s of Critical Economic Concern While rich in natural resources - economies are extremely fragile

3 2005 – 1000 Friends of Florida Study Statewide Population Distribution Scenario Estimated Population using BEBR Moderate Projection for Trend Line Extended to 2060 Florida 2060

4 Florida Population 2005 The 2005 BEBR study showed that Taylor County like the majority of Florida Counties are largely undeveloped.

5 Based upon historical growth trends the study projects that Taylor County’s population will remain virtually unchanged in Florida Population 2060

6 The 1000 Friends of Florida Study confirmed that without an investment desired quality of life changes would not occur The 2060 Study – Prompted Taylor County to create it own Vision for 2060 Taylor County Vision 2060

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8 Regional Context

9 Identified our local rivers and the Gulf as being critical natural resources for preserving and enhancing our quality of life. Confirmed the frustration of having one of the longest coastlines in the state with extremely limited access to the Gulf. Identified that enhanced waterway access was critical to attracting tourist, residential and commercial growth. Vision 2060 – Waterway Access

10 Taylor County’s - Coastline Approximately 80% is owned and controlled by the State and the Federal Government Coastal Management Area Very Limited access Scheduled to remain in conservation for perpetuity

11 Big Bend Seagrass Aquatic Preserve - Seagrass Beds Contiguous Patchy Boat Ramps 14 public boat ramp facilities with access to the Gulf of Mexico but limited access to roads that lead to ramps and most ramps substandard. Only one deep water access ramp in 2005 Keaton Beach Coastal Resources

12 Need for Empirical Research Funding a critical issue Need for understanding of What we had What was needed What were our options Etc. Identified the need for 3 rd party unbiased, empirical research to provident insight and help provide creditability to our residents, legislators and funding agencies. Critical for future planning and allocation of resources

13 Collaboration with FSG We were starting to look for partnerships with state institutions. June 2008 – We were approach by Dr. Charles Sidman to see if we were interested in collaborating with FSG and IFAS. The collaboration between FSG/IFAS and Taylor County worked extremely well FSG worked within the scope of their mission to meet our specific needs.

14 Why FSG Collaborated National concern. Not unique to Florida. In Florida, the need to improve access is well established by local and state authorities. “Wildlife 2060: What’s at Stake for Florida” forecasts continuing decline in coastal waterway access ( FWC, 2008 ). “Boating Access Facilities Inventory and Economic Study” acknowledges “rapid rate of land-use change along Florida’s coastal and inland waterways” which exacerbates access issues (FWC, 2009 ). Involving residents and users can align facility improvements with community interests.

15 FSG Identified Taylor County as a good candidate to help support our efforts and their efforts to improve public waterway access. Taylor County Shared similarities with other rural and developed areas. History of declining access to waterfronts Limited deep water access and parking Crowding and congestion at popular ramps Supported Taylor County Vision 2060 Plan. Builds upon work conducted by the Taylor County Coastal Committee. Why FSG Collaborated

16 Consistent with FSG’s planning priority to support comprehensive planning for coastal and marine resources (FSG Strategic Plan 2009) Support of planning initiatives in rural Florida Coastal Communities consistent with FSG’s Federal mandate to: Promote hazard resiliency Support healthy ecosystems Sustain coastal economies

17 FSG/IFAS/Taylor County Planning Waterway Access Charles Sidman, Florida Sea Grant Garin Davidson, Florida Sea Grant Robert Swett, Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences Alan Hodges, Food and Resource Economics Tim Fik, Geography Fred Vose, Taylor County, UF/IFAS Clay Olson, Taylor County, UF/IFAS Dir. Jack Brown, Taylor County Administrator

18 Goals and Objectives Goal Provide science-based information to support Taylor County waterway access planning efforts. Objectives Determine if demand exceeds facility capacity. Gauge public support for facility improvements. Identify access amenities favored by residents/users. Identify locations where improvements are desired. Estimate economic benefits from access facilities.

19 Study Elements Resident Survey 2000 residents selected from property tax rolls. 663 surveys returned (33.6% return rate). Ramp Survey Ramps visited for 1 year. Tag information collected. Parking capacity estimated. Boater Survey Questionnaires distributed to 1,644 boaters at boat ramps. 209 surveys returned (12.7% return rate).

20 Resident & Boater Surveys Map-based survey allowed recipients to identify where improvements should be made. Allowed recipients to quickly cross-reference coastal and waterway access locations with specific questions.

21 Study Findings

22 Does Demand Exceed Facility Capacity? Estimated number of trips per year: 28,153 Most ramps have adequate parking (operate at between 36% and 74% of parking capacity). Demand exceeds parking at popular ramps during peak use periods (e.g., Steinhatchee, Keaton Beach). PeriodWeekend Day Weekday Peak22456 Transitional14435 Off-Peak7819

23 What Access Amenities are Favored by Users? RankAccess Amenity % Responses indicating “Important” 1 Easy to launch & retrieve boat 95% 2Direct Access to Gulf94% 3Short wait to launch90% 4 Close to favorite boating spots 84% 5 Well maintained access channels 81%

24 Does the Public Support Improvements? Public Support County Residents Boaters Year- Round SeasonalResidentsVisitors New Ramps 60%74%75%59% Ramp Improvements 71% 77%75% A clear majority of residents (users & non-users) and boaters (motorized & non-motorized) support improvements to public boat ramp facilities.

25 Where are Improvements Desired?

26 What is the Economic Impact of Providing Public Access? 84% of visitor trip-related expenditures made “in- county.” Regional economic model for Taylor County developed using IMPLAN modeling software. Employment (Jobs) Labor Income Value added Total Output 158 $4.1 Million $6.4 Million $10.1 Million

27 Outcomes Supported a successful request by the County for $600K toward the development of a new $3,000,000 boat ramp in Steinhatchee. Supported a request for a $100K state grant to expand parking at Keaton Beach Ramp. Road map for prioritizing future improvements.

28 Steinhatchee Boat Ramp

29 Steinhatchee Boat Ramp - Coastal Park Project

30 Annual permit decal sales doubled in 2011 compared to three year average ( ) Data for just 18 days (July-September) averaged 65 trips/day (7AM-2PM) w/$289,351 Expended Total trips (18 days) Resident (14%) Day Visitors (44%) Overnight Visitors (42%) 1,165$35,318$71,747$182,286 What is the Observed Use of the Steinhatchee Ramp? Total trips (18 days) Resident (14%) Day Visitors (44%) Overnight Visitors (42%) 1,165 $35,318 $71,747 $182,286

31 Keaton Beach Boat Ramp - Coastal Park Project Project Focus Area FY And

32 Thank You! Report now available. Hard copy PDF on FSG website (flseagrant.org) Jack R. Brown, Taylor County County Administrator (850) , Ext. 7

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