OPINION: Tourism funding should be used to transform future new water tower into showpiece

Posted on May 8, 2024 by EDITORIAL BOARD

Pensacola Beach has its famed beach ball water tower. It’s time for Navarre to also get an iconic landmark, and a new water tower under construction offers the perfect opportunity.

The Pensacola Beach water tower is a true landmark often featured on souvenirs for the area. 

Navarre Beach had the opportunity to have a sea turtle painted on a water tower; however, instead just a bland white coat was thrown up with a rebranded logo. Here is a photo of that proposed Eric Henn mural before and after, which sadly never happened. 

Right now a new one million gallon water tower is under construction on Frontera Street at the southern terminus of Hwy. 87 S. It will present another opportunity for Navarre.

In fact, it would be an even better opportunity since that water tower is being built adjacent to the footprint of the expected route for the future new Navarre Beach Bridge. 

Additionally, Navarre Beach has rebranded itself, properly, as an eco-tourism destination with amenities including but not limited to snorkeling and fishing reefs, the longest pier along the Gulf of Mexico and the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center. 

Furthermore, as part of the Responsible Pier Initiative, trained staff at Navarre Beach pier work with NBSTCC to ensure sea turtles are quickly rescued and provided rehabilitation. In fact, Navarre Beach Fishing Pier has been the top-ranked pier in Florida for successful rescues!

Often, while walking the beach or pier, I run into NBSTCC volunteers like Ralph Agnew, a fellow snorkeling enthusiast, patroling the shoreline and pier. Between the dedication of volunteers like Ralph and pier staff, Navarre is known for its dedication to marine life, specifically sea turtles. 

So let’s rally as a community to bring this idea to fruition! If you agree, email Commission Chairman Sam Parker via District1@santarosa.fl.gov or call 850-983-1877.