Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Director Julie Morgan said Navarre resident Tony Alexander approached county commissioners with the idea last fall, and the board approved using tourist tax funding to cover the expense.
“Santa Rosa County needed a solution that would allow persons with disabilities full access to the beach. If a disabled person cannot traverse the sand, their access is currently limited to the end of the dune walkovers,” Alexander said. “In addition to the mats providing a path, there will also be sections along it, where someone in a wheelchair can turn off and park. These turnoffs will allow families to sit and enjoy our beach together.”
Alexander credits the Board of County Commissioners and Morgan with credit for the effort. “I raised the issue and the county sprang into action. They were immediately responsive, kept me involved in the process, and communicated throughout. Now our world class beaches are more accessible to persons with disabilities,” he said.
Per Morgan, the roughly 100-foot long x five-foot wide mat will be installed before Memorial Day near the existing kayak launch in Navarre Beach Marine Park — because that facility has a ramp which drops down to the beach.