MRD Awarded Contract to Study Re-opening the Historic East Pass in Bay County

Bay County Commissioners are taking another step forward with the East Pass reopening feasibility study. On Tuesday, commissioners approved MRD Associates, Inc., out of Destin, FL to proceed with the East, or ‘Old’ Pass reopening feasibility study, allocating $1 million to the project. The study is being funded through a RESTORE Act grant the county received for the project in June, 2020.

“It’s a very popular item in Bay County because most people that grew up here, that lived here for some time understand the value of the exchange of the fresh seawater back and forth into the Bay system,” said Commissioner Bill Dozier. The study could take several years, in compliance with Department of Environmental Protection standards, and will study the impacts of reopening the Old Pass opening into St. Andrews Bay near Tyndall Air Force Base. “What we want to do is to open it up to help the bay system, the overall environment of the Bay system,” he said. “People in Bay County are excited about it and they remember when it was open before and the beauty of the area that it brought.”

1953 Aerial Composite of Historic East Pass or Old Pass in Bay County, FL