Environment Pensacola

Podcast: Underhill on Bayou Chico clean-up

November 17, 2015

Radio 90
Escambia County Commissioner Doug Underhill yesterday appeared on News Talk 1370’s ‘Pensacola Speaks’ to talk about the brewing controversy surrounding the dredging of Bayou Chico.

Underhill said:

“The county purchased the Jackson Lakes property. It used to be the Clark Sand Pits, for the purpose of improving the water in Bayou Chico, It’s part of a much larger program of really recovering the tributaries–Jackson Creek, Jones Creek, Maggie’s Ditch, that feed into the bayou. That’s where all the silting is coming from. That’s where much of the fecal coliform bacteria has historically come from. We purchased that property for that purpose, and one of the purposes was for doing some dredging.

“Now, back then, during the time when when we purchased it, it was perfectly normal to just move toxic dredge spoils from one place to another. As you said earlier, it’s a different era, and that’s really not how things are done now, because we’re really just kicking the can down the road for our children to have to deal with later. The truth of the matter is that Jackson Lakes is a more than 50-acre parcel that’s owned by the people of Escambia County that has so much potential for those of us that live on the west side. If we had anything that looked like that in, say, North Hill, I can assure you nobody would be talking about pumping dredge spoils into it. Yeah, it’d be a beautiful park.

“The idea here, though, is that there are certain people that are on the bayou who believe that there is no other way that they can get the bayou cleaned up except to dump those spoils into Jackson Lakes, which, by the way, is the head waters of Bayou Chico, so they’re really just pushing their problem, you know, just moving the problem around instead of solving it.”

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