County to consider $6,000 donation toward Wildlife Refuge construction

Posted on April 20, 2018 by Staff reports

Next week Santa Rosa County Commissioners will decide whether or not to fund a $6,000 contribution toward the future construction of the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, which will be located in Holley.

The county’s tourist development council on April 5 recommended the donation, which would utilize TDC reserve funds to build four animal habitats.

Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Director Julie Morgan said the funding would provide 4 cages for owls, hawks and ospreys. The projected completion date is October 2018.

According to supporting documentation for the agenda item, the Refuge is relocating from Ft. Walton Beach to a 2.3 acre donated property at 3025 Clopton’s Circle, off Hwy 87 in Navarre.

“The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge facility is going to be the first major non-profit facility as visitors enter Navarre via Hwy 87. Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge is requesting the funds to build habitats that will allow their Animal Ambassadors to live out their lives in a more natural setting while receiving the care that they need. The Rehabilitation Habitats provide a quiet monitored environment for recovering wildlife as they transition to their return to the wild,” Morgan said.

Morgan has stated that the county will be able to market the Refuge as a venue to help lure tourists to the area once the facility is up and running.