Okaloosa takes next steps on new waterfront park in Mary Esther

Okaloosa County is moving forward with plans to develop a new waterfront park in the city of Mary Esther. The Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a $289,092 […]

Okaloosa County is moving forward with plans to develop a new waterfront park in the city of Mary Esther.

The Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a $289,092 task order for MRD Associates to provide permitting, design and construction services for the proposed Cristobal Waterfront Park. The 1.15-acre park will be located along Santa Rosa Sound in Mary Esther.

“This is going to get us off and running,” said Deputy Administrator Craig Coffey.

The county will split the task order cost with the city of Mary Esther under an interlocal agreement in which the county will lead development of the park before handing over ownership and operations to the city upon completion.

Planned amenities at Cristobal Waterfront Park include parking, sidewalks, a fishing pier, boardwalk, canoe/kayak launch, gazebos and restrooms. The project will also involve environmental permitting through the state Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

  • Coffey previously said the new park will help meet high demand for public water access as the area’s population grows. Water activities remain top recreational draws for tourists and locals.

Commissioner Nathan Boyles praised the project’s momentum from recent property acquisition to design phase in short order, calling it faster than the “glacial pace” often associated with government work. Coffey said he could expect to see a similar pace with the Shalimar Waterfront Park as well.

The park plans align with the county’s vision for tourism growth and economic development by boosting recreational opportunities in Mary Esther while improving residents’ quality of life, officials said.

One Response

  1. To The County Commissioners, how wonderful! Thank you, County Commissioners for continuing to improve our part of God’s Country! It shows that you all are doing what it takes to do this! I would like to come to your open meetings yo share a few of my own ideas with you!

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Community Comments

“We enjoy The Wharf 850, especially when out of town guest are here.”
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“there is some funny math going on here. 5000/4 = 1250 and 1250 x 2= 2500 2500 +(500x2)= 3500. not 2000!”
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“So many great places in FWB and Destin. Our Go To is Tradewinds in Niceville. Back ups are Craft Bar and Twisted Grape.”
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“Pounder's Niceville , Please put one in Fort Walton Beach soon! for we would go more often”
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“Stewby's Seafood Shanty on the Island.”
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“We live in Destin. The Donut Hole is #1 for us.”
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“In Niceville; Brothers near BWB on HWY 20”
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“We are a family of 5 and don't go out to eat often, but when we do, Pedro's on Mary Esther Cutoff is where we go! The food is great...”
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“Our go to is Hill Monkeys on Main Street in Crestview or Hot Kimchi on Ferdon.”
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