Sunday, November 25, 2018

Excerpt from public notice published in The Palm Beach Post.

Have you ever visited the West Delray Regional Park in suburban Delray Beach? This phenomenal public park is located just east of the Arthur R. Marshall National Wildlife Refuge (learn more at the end of this blog post).

But first, let’s get to this very relevant and topical public notice in the Post:

Public Notice of Everglades Restoration Project

Notice is hereby given that the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has prepared a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) based on the proposed removal of specific grant-funded restrictions on SFWMD Tract W9100-179 [see map below], totaling 97.01 acres [in Palm Beach County], known as the Palm Beach Downs property.* If approved, the grant funding would be exchanged for the placement of specific grant-funded restrictions on five Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands (BBCW) properties totaling 921.06 acres [in Miami-Dade County]. The Palm Beach Downs property was acquired using federal grant funding and later slated for surplus or exchange during the review and it was determined that the Palm Beach Downs properties is not a component of current or future restoration project plans. [emphasis added] The Palm Beach Downs sites is currently operated as an equestrian boarding (stables) and training facility.

The BBCW project’s objective is to improve the ecological health of Biscayne Bay by increasing the overland freshwater flow to compensate for the reduction of regional groundwater seepage. The transfer of the USFWS encumbrance to the BBCW properties provides additional grant funding for critical conservation lands within the BBCW project area.

The draft environmental assessment is available for public review. To download the PDF click on this link.

For SFWMD’s Real Estate website, “Doing Business With Us”, click on this link.

*For additional information contact Mr. Ray Palmer, the Real Estate Section Administrator at SFWMD. Call 561-682-2246 or send an email to:

Map orientation:

Up is north. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is to the left (west; undeveloped area). The City of Delray Beach is to east on State Rd. 806 (W. Atlantic Ave.).

Click on map to enlarge Tract W9100-179.

More information from “SFWMD Land Assessment” about Tract W9100-179 and nearby tracts:

Palm Beach County

East Coast Buffer – Palm Beach County Ag. Reserve Reservoir
  • W9100-170 (~2.6 acres)
  • W9100-176 (~570.77 acres)
  • W9100-177 (~10.47 acres)
  • W9100-178 (~313.37 acres)
  • W9100-179 (~97.01 acres)

There are three leases on this site: (W9100-176) a pepper farm operation, (W9100-179) an equestrian training facility, and (W9100-178) a lease to Palm Beach County for the operation of the West Delray Regional Park. Due to proximity to the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge, staff recognizes that there may be an interest by either the County or USFWS to acquire the property from the District. . . . [A]nd if not, staff will consider the exchange or surplus of the District’s fee-simple interest in the sites.

FYI: ‘West Delray’ is an unincorporated area in Palm Beach County; not to be confused with the municipality of Delray Beach.

The West Delray Regional Park is a public park in the PBC Park System and is located at 10875 W. Atlantic Ave. in suburban Delray on the eastern edge of the Arthur R. Marshall (ARM) Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.

Hope you found this information helpful today and in conclusion:

The ARM Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge and Riverbend Park on the Loxahatchee River in the Town of Jupiter often get confused by the public. They are both very different and very unique public parks in Palm Beach County.

And interestingly, both of these public parks were recently in the news: Click on this link to learn more about promoting ecotourism in PBC, boosting park visits by families, young adults and children and also more about a very controversial and fascinating theory called “Nature-Deficit Disorder”.