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Grant awarded for improvements to Fort De Soto pier | News

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Grant awarded for improvements to Fort De Soto pier
Grant awarded for improvements to Fort De Soto pier

 

Pinellas County recently announced the award of $1 million in grant funding for the replacement of the Bay Pier at Fort De Soto Park. The funding, provided by the Federal Transit Administration’s Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program, is for alternative transportation in national parks, forests and wildlife refuges. Locally, the funding will provide a new dock for ferry access to the Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge. The grant will fund the first of several construction phases for a new pier and ferry dock and includes design, engineering and initial construction activities. A date has not yet been set for the start of this project. The existing pier will remain open to provide recreational fishing and ferry access to Egmont Key. Visitors are welcome to enjoy both Fort De Soto Park and Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge, where they may see threatened gopher tortoises, a wide variety of beautiful shorebirds and scenic white sandy beaches. In January, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $40.8 million for 58 projects over two years that will provide safe, convenient access for visitors to America’s national parks, forests and wildlife refuges, and modernize aging transportation infrastructure. “Our nation’s scenic parklands and protected areas are national treasures attracting millions of visitors each year,” said LaHood. “It’s vitally important to preserve and protect these lands for today’s visitors as well as future generations by investing in safe, accessible and environmentally sustainable transportation.” The Transit in Parks program was established by Congress to enhance the protection of national parks and federal lands and increase the enjoyment of those visiting them. Administered by the FTA in partnership with the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service, the program funds capital and planning expenses for alternative transportation systems, such as shuttle buses and bicycle trails, in national parks and public lands. The goals of the program are to conserve natural, historical and cultural resources, and reduce congestion and pollution. For more information on Pinellas County services and programs, visit www.pinellascounty.org. Pinellas County government is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Pinellas County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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