MILTON — The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection has awarded Santa Rosa County with a $75,000 grant to fund coastal access and water quality improvements at the Archie Glover Boat Ramp in Milton. This grant is part of the department’s Coastal Partnership Initiative.

“We are excited to provide this important funding to Santa Rosa County, which will be used to protect shorelines and provide coastal access to users of the Archie Glover Boat Ramp,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein.

The Archie Glover Boat Ramp is popular among commercial and recreational fisherman, paddle craft enthusiasts, residents and visitors. Proposed improvements include ADA-compliant updates to existing restroom facilities at the boat ramp, construction of an ADA-accessible approach ramp and parking spaces, and a new, adaptive kayak launch with adjoining floating dock and gangway. These improvements will expand accessibility, increase visitor safety, reduce erosion impacts to the surrounding shoreline and protect water quality.

“This project will greatly enhance boat ramp amenities, protect important coastal resources and will result in greater access to Escambia Bay for users of all abilities," said  said Commissioner Sam Parker, District 1, in a release issued by the state.

The Coastal Partnership Initiative grant program promotes the protection and effective management of Florida’s coastal resources at the local level. It also provides support for innovative local coastal management projects in four program areas: resilient communities, public access, working waterfronts and coastal stewardship.

Through the Coastal Partnership Initiative, DEP's Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection makes federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funds available on a competitive basis to Florida’s 35 coastal counties and the municipalities within their boundaries.

Eligible entities may apply for grants for community projects such as habitat restoration, park planning and improvements, waterfront revitalization, and improving communities' resiliency to coastal hazards. Grant recipients are required to provide 100 percent (1 to 1) matching funds, which may be cash or in-kind.