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Title: Remote sensing evaluation of port sites
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 Material Information
Title: Remote sensing evaluation of port sites
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Brooks, H. K.
Degner, J.D.
Ruth, B.E.
Publisher: Remote Sensing Applications Laboratory, University of Florida
Publication Date: 1978
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States -- Florida
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Bibliographic ID: UF00027841
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Table of Contents
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Full Text


H. K. Brooks,

A Report by
J. D. Degner and B. E. Ruth

a remote sensing site evaluation study of
seven seaport locations in the panhandle
of Florida. This report provides supple-
mental information to the report, Commercial
Fishing Port Development in North Florida,
prepared by the Florida Agricultural Market
Research Center, Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.

August, 1978

Remote Sensing Applications Laboratory
346 Weil Hall, University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611


H. K. Brooks, J. D. Degner and B. E. Ruth

The Florida Agricultural Market Research Center (FAMRC) was commis-
sioned by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries Development Foundation,
Inc., to evaluate commercial fishing and seafood marketing activities in
northern Florida. The stated objective of the FAMRC study was "to inves-
tigate the need for a modern seafood port in north Florida and/or the
needs for improving existing ports". Analysis of the seafood port facilities
was conducted by FAMRC.
The Remote Sensing Applications Laboratory was requested to evaluate
selected areas for the purpose of making specific recommendations for the
location of improvements, using remote sensing techniques and available
data. Seven port areas in five Gulf coast counties were determined to
need improvements that could be analyzed by such techniques. The identi-
fied needs for each port, as determined by FAMRC, are listed in Table 51.
The location of these seven areas appear on Figure 21.
The data and opinions presented in this report are based primarily
upon the interpretation of aerial photographs and satellite imagery, with
supplemental information derived from a low level overflight, cursory site
visits on the ground, and data from the literature. Advantages and dis-
advantages of potential sites for the port improvements recommended in the
FAMRC study are discussed. The recommendations set forth in this report
should be considered only as a guide to the development of the detailed
geotechnical data needed to properly plan and construct the needed marine
facilities. The results in this report can form the basis for detailed

H. K. Brooks is a Professor in Geology, J. D. Degner is an Assistant
in Engineering in Civil Engineering, and B. E. Ruth is a Professor in Civil
Engineering, University of Florida. All are members of the Remote Sensing
Applications Laboratory, University of Florida.


0 o


Figure 21.--Areas evaluated for fishing port development in north Florida.


studies to be used in the selection of specific sites for expansion or
development. A limited glossary of technical terms has been provided and
is located at the back of this report.
A grant from the Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications, Nation-
al Aeronautics and Space Administration, and support from FAMRC made this
portion of the study possible.

Table 51.--Selected fishing port facility needs in five north Florida

County Port Identified needs

Escambia Pensacola Docking
Bay Panama City Docking, breakwater
Gulf Port St. Joe Docking, channel
Franklin Apalachicola Docking, channel
Franklin Eastpoint Breakwater
Franklin Carrabelle Docking
Wakulla Panacea Docking, channel

aNassau and Duval counties not included because identified needs
could not be assessed by remote sensing techniques.
Source: Commercial Fishing Port Development in North Florida,
Industry Report 78-6, Florida Agricultural Market Research Center,
University of Florida.


The selection and evaluation of potential sites involve both marine-
and shore-related considerations. Marine-related factors such as access
from the sea, depth and stability of navigational channels, storm protec-
tion, obstructions such as bridges, and potential space for basin and dock
facilities must be examined. Knowledge of bathymetry, bottom conditions,
and adjacent land elevations are essential considerations that may make
the cost of initial dredging and construction and subsequent maintenance
The easiest, most reliable, and economical method used to evaluate
such factors as listed above is with remote sensing and air photo inter-
pretation techniques. Natural and cultural features, spatial relation-
ships, and dynamic changes can be determined, especially with time

sequential photography. For the port study, most of the pertinent infor-
mation could be readily observed and interpreted using these tools.
Various satellite images, color infrared photographs, and black and
white photographs were collected and analyzed for this study. Topographic
maps, nautical charts, and previous site studies were also examined.
Coastal Zone Management Atlases were used to verify and determine present
land use and support services. The atlases offer biophysical and socio-
economic analyses, as well as information on environmental quality.
After initial data analyses, a low altitude aerial survey of the
study areas, excluding Pensacola, was conducted by members of the labor-
atory. A cursory two day ground survey was conducted as a field check.

The Gulf Coast of Northern Florida

History and Physiography

The panhandle of Florida extends from St. Marks to the Alabama state
line. This is an east-west distance of approximately 150 miles. The
seven study locations are separated by distances ranging from less than
10 to about 100 miles.
The occurrence of diastrophic events and eustatic fluctuations of sea
level are two main factors responsible for shaping the land. Tectonic
records reveal no recent- diastrophic events occurring in the panhandle.
In fact, this area is considered to be one of the most stable in the
world. Thus, the major agent responsible for shaping this area is the
sea level fluctuations (Brooks). When the sea stood at lower levels,
rivers flowed across the exposed land, scouring valleys, estuaries, and
bays. With subsequent climatic warming, the seas rose and engulfed the
excavated features. Barrier islands of Recent age are also common along
the coast.
An overview such as a satellite image clearly displays the prominent
features associated with the coastal area. Total coverage of the panhan-
dle's coast requires scenes from three separate satellite passes. A
satellite image mosaic of Florida, which includes three such passes, has
been widely distributed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). A
list of addresses for obtaining available images and information can be
found at the end of this report.

The seven areas of study lie in the physiographic province known as
the Coastal Plain Province. A physiographic map appears as Figure 22 and
depicts three divisions of this province: the Embayed Alluvial Coast,
the Apalachicola Foreland, and the Big Bend Drowned Karst division. These
divisions are based on the different physical features and types of mater-
ial present along the coast.

The Embayed Alluvial Coast

The Embayed Alluvial Coast extends from the Gulf/Bay county line
westward. Underlying this area is a thick sequence of Tertiary sediments
that slope seaward, creating a simple homocline. The sediments consist of
sand, silt, and clay. Minor amounts of limestone are present.
The estuaries decrease in size from Mobile, Alabama to Panama City,
Florida. These embayments are examples of flooded waterways that were
eroded during lower stands of the sea. The energy conditions that result
from wave action and currents along this coastal section are moderate.

The Apalachicola Foreland

The division called the Apalachicola Foreland has been adopted for
this report due to the prominent foreland associated with the Apalachicola
River and drainage system. This division stretches from the Bay/Gulf
county line to east of the Ochlockonee River. This feature is plainly
visible on satellite imagery and area maps.
The cuspate foreland is a relic of an ancient river delta that pro-
graded as a beach ridge plain (Schnable, Schnable and Goodell). The
Apalachicola River has not contributed to the construction of the fore-
land in Recent geologic time. Today, much of the alluvium is being trapped
behind dams constructed upstream. Sediment that is being transported is
deposited as a bayhead delta under estuarine conditions. Barrier islands
have developed shoreward of this ancient delta and have been determined
to be less than 6000 years old.
The western portion of this division is characterized by a natural
bar and spit development, known as St. Joseph Spit. This barrier acts as
protection to the natural lagoon, St. Joseph Sound.



Figure 22.--Physiographic divisions of the Coastal Plain Province for the panhandle of Florida.
Figure 22.--Physiographic divisions of- the Coastal Plain Province for the panhandle of Florida.

The Big Bend Drowned Karst

The Big Bend Drowned Karst division of the Coastal Plain Province is
characteristic of the coastline that extends from the Ochlockonee River
to north of Pinellas County. The concern of this study only includes
that portion of the coast beginning with the boundary of the Apalachicola
Foreland and culminating east of Panacea. A gently sloping limestone
plain extends from the Florida peninsula to Panacea with rock occurring
both onshore and offshore. Rock is still encountered at shallow depths
as far as Carrabelle. Carrabelle is considered to be in a transition zone
between the rocky coast to the east and the alluvial coast to the west.
Alluvium is introduced to the area by the Apalachicola and Ochlockonee
rivers. The sediment load carried by rivers to the east is substantially
lower and consists largely of organic matter.
Energy conditions for the Big Bend Drowned Karst physiographic divi-
sion are considered low. This low energy condition is a primary reason
for the development of oyster bars.


The moderate and low energy levels present along the coast of the
panhandle are in part due to the small tidal range. Tides in the study
area have a range of two to two and one half feet. From Panama City
westward there is a diurnal fluctuation, whereas the remaining west coast
of Florida has a mixed tide. The small range, combined with the reduced
tidal frequency, minimizes the influence of tides and tidal currents.
Table 52 presents the tidal information for most of the study area.

The Nature of the Fishing Grounds

In contrast to the north Atlantic, where the vast and rich offshore
areas are harvested, the south Atlantic and north Florida fishing is con-
centrated in local bays, estuaries, lagoons, and the offshore areas where
scattered reefs and rock outcrops are located. Such localized fishing can
be attributed to several factors.

I_ depth contours In fathoms ICQ _Q\6 VY 0' 20
Figure 23.--Location of offshore fishing grounds in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico.
Source: A Survey of Offshore Fishing in Florida.

Table 52.--Tidal information for seven port areas in north Florida.

Mean Mean Mean Extreme
Location high water tide level low water low water

Pensacola 1.3 0.6 0.0 -2.0
Panama City 1.3 0.6 0.0 -2.0
Port St. Joe 1.4 0.7 0.0 -2.0
Eastpoint 1.7 0.9 0.0 -2.0
Carrabelle 2.6 1.3 0.0 -2.0
(Panacea) 2.5 1.5 0.0 -3.0

aHeight referred to datum Mean Low Water (MLW).
Source: NOAA/NOS nautical charts of the Gulf coast.

Primarily, the location of the fishing grounds are in response to the
geographic, geologic, and hydrographic conditions. The various physio-
graphic features of the Coastal Plain Province were previously mentioned.
-For further discussion of the geology and hydrography of the panhandle
see: "A Summary of Knowledge of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico", Institute
of Oceanography, S.U.S., St. Petersburg, 1973.
The fishing grounds located in protected waters are affected by the
volume of water, chemicals, and mineral matter discharged from the rivers,
as well as bottom conditions and sediment type. In the northeastern Gulf,
the warm tropical waters of the Loop Current impinge upon the Florida
panhandle coast from Panama City westward. This, in conjunction with ir-
regular bottom conditions, outcrops, and reef structures are factors con-
trolling the fishing activities in this area. Figure 23 illustrates the
location of the offshore fishing grounds. A brief description which in-
cludes the common name, depth, and the physical nature of the bottom
follows the illustration as Table 53.
Another factor that contributes to localized fishing is that the
state of Florida leases specific plots to the fishermen. Such is the
case with the restricted oyster fishing present in the Apalachicola area.

Table 53.--Description of offshore
Gulf of Mexico .

fishing grounds in the northeastern

Area Local Name Location Depth Bottom Composition, Topography

1 The Sea Buoy

2 The Mfassachusetts

The Wreck

4 Trisler Grounds

5 50 Fathom Edge,
the Edges

6 The Timber Holes

7 29 Edge
27 Edge

8 The Sea Buoy

9 Southeast Grounds

300 14' to
300 17' N.
87* 14' to
87 23' W.

30* 16' N.
87' 19' W.

3 to 10 Rolling sand bottom with rare occur-
Fathoms rences of low rock; occasional patches
of shell, gravel or grass. One small
privately constructed artificial reef.

Exposed Sand bottom; wreck of old battleship.

30* 12' N. 13 to 14 Metal wreck of an old Russian
87 13' W. Fathoms freighter; located on a hard sand

30 51' to
300 56' N.
537 22' to
870 29' W.

290 26' to
30 00' N.
87*.00' to
87* 30' W.

30 05' to
300 12' N.
86 40' to
87* 05' W.

30 04' to
300 07' N.
860 44' to
87 00' W.

30 19' to
300 23' N.
860 24' to
36 33' W.

300 04' to
300 11' N.
86 14' to
86 34' W.

17 to 20 Three rock formations on a hard sand
Fathoms bottom; few rocky patches between
the larger widespread rock forma-
tions; shell and invertebrate growth
occur on and near the rock forma-

30 to 80 Sand and shell bottom with rock
Fathoms ledges. The rock ledges are steep and
rugged and run parallel to the con-
tour lines; large expanses of rolling
sand bottom, 30 to 50 fathoms is the
most fished area.

15 to 21 This area stretches just. inshore of
Fathoms the 20 fathom contour. The bottom
is mostly sand and occasionally sand
and shell; numerous holes, dips and
gullies of one to severalfathoms are
present. Rock formationsare in the
deeper protions of these depressions;
coral and other invertebrate growth
on the rock.
24 to 30 Northernmost section of the DeSoto
Fathoms Canyon. Very steep slope with high
rugged rock cliffs. Area of 27 to 31
fathoms most fished. Slopes from 30
to 50 fathoms in 2 miles: coral and
other invertebrate growth on the
exposed rock; large deposits of sand
and shell.

4 to 13 Sloping flat sand bottom. Very few
Fathoms rock areas; some wreckage present;
obstructions are the best producing

15 to 21 Rolling sand bottom with occasional
Fathomi areas of shell and gravel. Low rock
formations occur occasionally at the
foot of the sand hills; sponge and
coral growth on the hard bottom and
rock areas.

Table 53.--Continued.

Area Local Name Location Depth Bottom Composition, Topography

1 8 Tarpon Wreck

19 Warsaw Hole

20 Offshore Platform

21 The "Leroy"

22 3 to 5's

23 The Mud Banks

24 Whoopie Grounds

25 The Elbow


30* 06' N. 16 Sand bottom; wreck of a freighter
850 56' W. Fathoms sunk in 1932.

300 02' N. 80 to 85 Abrupt break in hard sand bottom;
85 50' W. Feet depressions 2 to 3 fathoms deep with
steep rocky sides: cave present, sup-
plemented by automobile bodies and
other junk. Heavy invertebrate

30 01' N. 1. Sand bottom with a Navy maintained
85' 54' W. Fathoms oceanographic station built on a per-
manent platform. Wreck'of a barge
just northwest of the platform; few
low rock formations in the vicinity.
290 50' N. 19 Sloping sand bottom with the wreck
850 55' W. Fathoms of the tugboat "Leroy", sunk about
1932-only the boiler remains: due
south of the Oceanographic Plat-
form: sand and sparse shell sur-
rounding the wreck.

29" 27' to
290 41' N.
850 49' to
850 59' W.

290 19' to
29* 22' N.
850 45' to
850 55' W.

29* 09' to
29* 15' N.
85* 35' to
850 48' W.

28' 58' to
29' 04' N.
55 27' to
S5 33' W.

290 11' to
290 20' N.
840 39' to
84* 56' W.

17 to 25 Sand bottom, occasional areas of
Fathoms shell and mud, usually associated
with rock ledges. The rock ledges
have a relief of 3 to 4 and some-
times 5 fathoms; the rock ridges are
heavily covered with coral and other
invertebrates. There are a few wrecks
in this area that produce wei: when

31 to 34 Rock ledge; sharp rise of one fathom
Fathoms followed by a steep drop of 3 to 4
fathoms. The rock face of the cliff
is very rugged, covered with inverte-
brate growth. Ledge extends 7 to 8

36 to 60 Sand bottom with rock ledges of 3 to
Fathoms 4 fathoms relief. The rock ledges
have steep rugged slopes; few areas
of rock with 5 fathom relief; covered
with coral and other invertebrate
50 Extends along the 50 fathom con-
Fathoms tour partially illustrated on Mao VII;
rock ledge of 4 fathoms dropping
into sand and mud bottom.

12 to 19 Flat limestone bottom with ridges,
Fathoms holes, and crevices of 2 to 15 feet;
expanses of sand, gravel and mud
are common.


Table 53.--Continued.

Area Local Name Location Depth Bottom Composition, Topography

10 27 Fathom Area
Southeast Grounds

12 Mingo Ridge

1 3 Trolling Grounds

3 to 5's

17 The Rock Pile

290 57' to
30* 04' N.
86"'12' to
86 33' W.

29 51' to
29* 57' N.
86* 13' to
860 30' W.

22 to 32 Irregular sand bottom. Holes and
Fathoms gullies 6 feet to 12 feet deep with
rock formations in the bottom of
these depressions. The wrecks of a
few airplanes are scattered through
the northwestern section of this area.
33 to 41 Irregular sand and shell bottom.
Fathoms Numerous rock formations, some
occurring in depressions and others
as small cliffs. The sand ridges and
rock ledges are generally parallel to
the coast line. Heavy invertebrate
growth on most of the exposed rock

29 17' N. 61 to 33 A steep rock ridge; the ridge rises
S6 33' W. Fathoms abruptly from 190 feet to 180 feet
and then drops off sharply 200 feet
to a sand and mud bottom. The
rock formations are rugged and heavy
with invertebrate growth.

30' 02' to
300 16' N.
85* 39' to
86" 04' W.

290 58' to
30* 11' N.
85 56' to
86' 11' W.

290 46' to
30 04' N.
35 50' to
86" 12' W.

29 39' to
290 52' N.
860 04' to
860 1i' W.

3 to 12 Sand bottom with rare occurrences of
Fathoms shell and rock. One artificial reef
in the area. Buoys and one high rock
formation are the most frequently
fished areas.

13 to 18 Irregular sand bottom, occasional
Fathoms holes with rock in the deepest sec-
tigns of the depressions; scattered
grass in the shallower areas.
Colonial tunicates are found on the

17 to 23 Irregular sand bottom. Many sharp
Fathoms dips and ledges of 3 to 5 fathoms in
relief; coral and other invertebrate
growth on the rock areas. The ledges
are parallel to the 20 fathom contour.

23 to 45 Sand bottom: irregular relief of 3 to
Fathoms 4 fathoms; ridges of rocks run
parallel to the coast: extensive soft
and hard coral growth. Three air-
plane wrecks present in the shallow
portion of this area. Rock ciiffs are
rugged with protrusions and caves.

30 07' N. 70 to 80 Rock formation on an expansive sand
85 49' W. Feet bottom: relief of one fathom.

Existing Port and Potential Site Evaluations

The following discussions evaluate each of the seven ports with re-
spect to local physiographic and hydrographic conditions. Potential sites
are reviewed with respect to the indicated needs, as determined by the
FAMRC study. Both advantages and disadvantages are presented, along with
recommendations. The reader is again referred to the general location
map, Figure 21, the physiographic map, Figure 22, and Figure 23, a map
depicting the offshore fishing grounds.
A black and white rendition of a 1972, 1973, or 1975 Mark Hurd color
infrared photograph covering each study area has been included as an aid
to the reader in establishing spatial relationships, as well as providing
an overview of the area.
In order to help identify and clarify the features in the photos,
two maps covering the photographs have been provided. The pertinent in-
formation has been divided between the two. The first map provides the
names of geographic points of interest, location of potential sites, and
bathymetric data. The second map depicts a cursory pattern of roads and
rail facilities, identifies local water bodies, and channel positions.
The original scale of the aerial photographs was 1:80,000. The black and
white reproductions and maps provided in this report approximate this

Pensacola, Escambia County

On the western boundary of the Embayed Alluvial Coast lies Pensacola,
the westernmost port under consideration. This deep water port is located
in Escambia County and lies nearly 100 miles west of Panama City. The
port of Pensacola is located in Pensacola Bay which is a drowned estuary
and lagoon protected from the open Gulf by the barrier island, Santa Rosa
Island. Pensacola Bay divides northward into two branches, Escambia Bay
and a branch composed of East and Blackwater bays. These bay branches
are estuaries for the Escambia River, and the Yellow and Blackwater rivers,
respectively. These rivers contribute the majority of fresh water and
sediment to the bay system, although the amount of sediment introduced is
not significant.

Table 53.--Continued.

Area Local Name Location Depth Bottom Composition, Topography

27 The 40 Fathom
The Edges


33 Florida Middle

26* 40' to
28* 50' N.;
varies with the'
40 fathom
contour line

290 33' to
29* 48' N.
3S4 24' to
84* 35' W.

290 46' to
29V 54' N.
84 07' to
834 25' W.

29 27' to
290 36' N.
84* 00' to
86' 23' W.

29* 37' to
290 57' N.
83 50' to
84 14' W.

29' 14' to
290 26' N.
33 50' to
84 00' W.

2S 11' to
28 45' N.
84 00' to
840 25' W.

28 47' to
29' 04' N.
83 16' to
830 29' W.

36 to 45 Extensive linear area along the 40
Fathoms fathom contour line; ridges of lime-
stone rock extending parallel to the
coast line through dat areas of sand
and shell.

6 to 11 Uneven, slightly rolling sand bottom
Fathoms with ridges of limestone rock and
shell lying parallel or at a slight
angle to the coastline; few ledges of
rock 6 to 8 feet high scattered
through the area.

1.5 to 7 In vicinity of sea buoy; inshore area
Fathoms with expanses of sand, grass iars,
and shell and rock: gentle rolling
relief; extensive sand ridge runs
through the area ridge marked on

9 to 13 Hard sand bottom with scattered
Fathoms holes and gullies; broken rock on
the edges and bottoms of the de-
pressions; gentle slope toward deeper

2 to 7 Hard sand bottom with a series of
Fathoms gullies running N.E. and S.W. in
direction with shell and broken rock
in the depressions.

10 to 11 Flat sand and shell bottom with
Fathoms scattered outcroppings of limestone
rock; gentle slope toward deep water
with mild relief.

13 to 25 Extensive, irregular area with relief
Fathoms up to 7 fathoms common: sand, shell
and broken rock in depressions and
u-llies: edges of hills most produc-
tive; heavy invertebrate and vegeta-
tive cover.

30 to 54 Flat bottom: north end has rock
Feet outcroppings in depressions on a sand
and shell bottom: south end has low
rock ridges extending along a sand
and shell bottom.

28* 23' N. 65 to 70 Area of 2 square miles: high relief:
S3 22' W. Feet 14 foot ledges and rock formations;
sand and shell surrounding rock.

28' 53' N. 20 to 30 Relief up to 10 feet: rock ledges and
830 10' W. Feet rounded rock coming up through a
flat sand bottom.

28 28' to
28 48' N.
82 57' to
830 17' W.

28 to 42 North end-flat gravel and sand
Feet bottom with sink holes and rock
outcroppings; south end-flat bottom
of sand, gravel, and grass with a few
ridges and rock outcroppings.

Offshore Fishing in Florida.

Yulle R-ck

Source: A Survey of


I e70,10'
Figure 24.--Bathymetry and potential port improvement sites for the
Pensacola area.
Source: NOAA/NOS nautical charts.

The bay bottom is flat with an average depth of 19 feet, except for
the dredged channels and spoil banks. Maintenance of the channel does not
appear to be a problem. This is probably due to the lack of sediment sup-
plied to the navigational channels and the scouring ability of the tidal
currents caused by the tidal prism. The two maps covering the same area
of Pensacola, as the reproduced aerial photograph, appear as Figures 24
and 25. The aerial reproduction appears as Figure 26.
The physical setting of the harbor facilities is excellent. As seen
on the above mentioned figures, the port facilities are concentrated along
the waterfront in the downtown area. Rail terminals, fuel storage, a
marina, large berths, shipping warehouses, and a sewage disposal plant are
located along this portion of the waterfront. However, berthing and shore
facilities have deteriorated, impairing their utility.
The most logical location for additional dock space is the present
downtown location. Upgrading existing facilities should satisfy the pre-
sent needs of the fishermen. As previously mentioned, many supporting
facilities and services are already present and channel maintenance is
minimal. No bridges are present to obstruct navigation. A large scale
expansion project at this site is not feasible, due to limited space. The
city plans to renovate this existing site. If the commercial fishermen
want specialized docking and facilities, now is the time for them to make
their needs known.
An alternative site for additional dock space lies west of the pre-
sent facility, in the tidal creek of Bayou Chico. Docks constructed in
this commercial and industrial area would have the added protection from
storm waves, being in the tidal creek. There is a bascule bridge obstruct-
ing the entrance to this creek. Additional dredging may also be required
to deepen the channel.
Because of Pensacola's distance from the other fishing ports in this
study, the localized fishing, and the habits of the fishermen, this port
would not be a good choice for a large facility that would serve the com-
mercial fishermen of the northeas-tern Gulf. Pensacola can best serve
large, ocean going trawlers that fish the Campeche Banks and continental
shelf from Texas to Mississippi and the limited number of coastal fisher-
men that do not venture far from this, their home port.


I 70 10'

Figure 25.--Channel locations, road and rail facilities in the
Pensacola area.
Source: NOAA/NOS nautical charts.

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'r LIn k;~PeC~Fr~S~Cl~,~t~lh^~ `\;' 31

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Figure 26.--Aerial view of Pensacola.
Source: Mark Hurd color infrared photography, 1973.

Panama City, Bay County

Situated near the eastern boundary of the Embayed Alluvial Coast is
the port of Panama City. The associated bay system is a drowned river
valley consisting of St. Andrew Bay and its tributaries, West Bay, North
Bay, and East Bay. Discharge of land runoff into this system is relative-
ly small and siltation is not a serious problem. The bay is relatively
unpolluted as compared to Escambia Bay, which has chemical plants along
the shoreline.
Direct access to this deep, well protected harbor is provided by a
man-made ship channel that cuts through the offshore barrier island. The
natural entrance is located at Lands End Peninsula, at the eastern end of
Shell Island. Storm protection is afforded by the barriers. Most of these
features are clearly visible in Figures 27 and 28 and in the aerial view,
Figure 29.
Panama City is situated near more offshore fishing grounds than any
of the other ports. The reader is again referred to Figure.23, which illus-
trates the offshore locations. The warm waters of the Loop Current and
the rocky bottom between 30 and 60 fathoms create ideal conditions for
grouper and snapper fishing.
Results of the FAMRC study indicate that the fishermen using Panama
City as a home port would like additional dock space and a breakwater.
Based on study of aerial photography, it is apparent that the waterfront
of the city and adjacent lands is a complex of industrial, commercial,
military, residential, and recreational areas. Docking facilities are
varied and widely scattered. The FAMRC study indicates that although
there is a considerable amount of available dock space, much of it is used
by sports fishermen and pleasure craft. A centralized landing area would
possibly benefit both the community and commercial fishermen.
St. Andrew Marina, near Buena Vista Point, is a municipal docking
and service facility that could serve as the nucleus for the centralized
landing. This marina cannot be significantly enlarged without the added
expense associated with deep water construction. However, if additional
facilities were needed, they could be developed just north of the marina
along the bayou entrance and waterfront. A breakwater could be incorpor-
ated in dredging and construction plans. This area should provide adequate
storm protection.



Figure 27.--Bathymetry, potential port and port improvement sites in the Panama City area.
Source: NOAA/NOS nautical charts.


1 0 I

Figure 28.--Road and rail facilities in the Panama City area.
Source: NOM//NOS nautical charts.

Figure 29.--Aerial view of the Panama City area.
Source: Mark Hurd color infrared photography., 1975.




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Some consideration was given to the large marina near the commercial
center of Panama City. Concepts for improvements include the possibility
of utilizing the existing facility, in combination with added facilities
to be placed on the vacant waterfront property west of the marina, near
the Gulf Oil Corporation docks. Space for expansion is limited at this
location. Commercial and industrial facilities, including rail and service
installations, are presently located downtown. But, because of the odors
and need for rapid removal of waste material associated with seafood pro-
cessing, this location probably should not be considered as a primary al-
Dyers Point has been a ship and ship salvage yard for many years and
features deep water access, storm protection, and rail service. Its iso-
lated location would probablyreduce possible complaints due to the offen-
sive aspects of the fishing industry. If all or any portion of this pro-
perty were available, it could possibly be developed into a commercial
seafood park of the type envisioned by the sponsors of this study.

Port St. Joe, Gulf County

Port St. Joe is situated on the western portion of the Apalachicola
Foreland and consists of a series of relic beach ridges that rise ten to
20 feet above sea level. The small community is oriented toward the pulp
and paper industry and also serves a number of commercial fishermen.
The port is protected from the open Gulf by a large spit, St. Joseph
Spit, that has built both westward and northwestward from the southern
tip of the deltaic foreland at Cape San Blas. Active deposition is occur-
ring only near the northern tip of St. Joseph Spit. However, there is a
southerly shift of nearshore sediment along the shore. Except near the
mainland and spit shores, the main body of St. Joseph Sound is over 30
feet deep. The reader is referred to Figures 30 and 31. This large, deep
lagoon or bay endures considerable wave action.
The Gulf County Canal stretches to the northeast across the old Apal-
achicola River delta, connecting the Intracoastal Waterway with the bay.
The sandy dredge spoils have been placed on the canal bank, raising the
bank's elevation up to 40 feet above .sea level. The spoil is clearly
visible in aerial photography, in Figure 32, and satellite imagery. The

Figure 30.--Bathymetry, potential port and port improvement sites in
the Port St. Joe area.
Source: NOAA/NOS nautical charts.

Figure 31.--Channel locations, road and rail facilities in the
Port St. Joe area.
Source: NOAA/NOS nautical charts

Figure 32.--Aerial view of the Port St. Joe area.
Source: Mark Hurd color infrared photography, 1975.


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fishermen of Port St. Joe expressed a need for additional dock facilities
and channel improvement.
Little development has taken place along the north bank of the canal.
Only a small boat basin, docks, and marine facilities are located along
the northern bank, close to the bay. This would be a suitable location
for some additional dock space. However, this would not be an ideal lo-
cation for a large marine facility. As mentioned previously, the elevation
of the bank has been increased, all of which would have to be removed and
placed elsewhere as steps are taken to dredge the major basin. Removal
and relocation of the spoil material would increase construction costs
dramatically. Present dredging costs usually range between sixty cents
and one dollar sixty per cubic yard, depending on the type of material.
Rock removal is at an additional expense. In addition, there are no near-
by lowlands that could readily accept the spoil. The canal is part of the
Intracoastal Waterway system and should be maintained to a depth of 12
feet. This depth should be adequate for the present vessels using the
port. A drawbridge which has a clearance of ten feet in the closed posi-
tion blocks ready'access to the bay and Gulf.
If a seafood park were justified, it could most economically be built
and maintained along the mainland coast to the south of Palm Point (Fig-
ures 30 and 31). The sandy dredge spoil could be used to build up the
adjacent land for shore facilities as well as constructing a protective
barrier. Since such a structure would interrupt the natural flow of sed-
iment, a bypass system may be necessary. This location would eliminate
the problem with the bridge obstruction, however, some storm protection
would be sacrificed.
Port St. Joe is a sparsely populated area that offers the space for
development of a large seafood park that other locations lack, yet much
consideration must be given to the industrial and support facilities
needed for such an operation. Few of the necessary facilities are present
in this area and there is concern whether the needed facilities would re-
locate to the area. The expense of relocation must also be considered.

Apalachicola, Franklin County

The maps and aerial photograph included in this report cover both
Apalachicola and Eastpoint. The spatial relationship of the two ports and

3 3


5 3

5 5

8 9

6 6

2 2 6 7 7 9
6 9
6 I 6 a 5
5 4 3 1 6 7 2 7 9
5 4 4 I 3 6 7 7 11
:2 T 7
64 5 NAUTICAL MILES 6 13 1 1
6 SOUNDINGS IN FEET I 0 I 8 7 9 10

Figure 33.--Bathymetry, potential port and port improvement sites in the Apalachicola and Eastpoint areas.
Source: NOAA/NOS nautical charts.


the southern drainage pattern of the Apalachicola Delta is clearly visible.
Hydrographic and cultural features are presented in Figures 33 and 34 and
the aerial view appears as Figure 35.
Apalachicola sits at the southern tip of the Apalachicola Delta, oc-
cupying the western bank of the river. Apalachicola Bay is the water body
connecting the river and the Gulf. Gulf fishermen travel 7.5 miles through
the bay and through a cut in the barrier island, St. George Island, in
order to reach open water.
The estuary of the Apalachicola River has largely been filled with
sediment deposited by the progradation of the bayhead delta. The amount
of silt carried by the river system has decreased in recent years due to
the construction of dams which trap the sediment upstream.
Although there is a sport marina south of the river mouth, the only
available commercial fishing facilities are located along the western
river bank, downtown. The identified problems of the Apalachicola area
are the lack of dock space and channel depth.
An isolated boat basin with berthing and shore facilities could be
developed up Scipio Creek. There is presently an eight foot channel lead-
ing to a commercial oyster shell landing. A seafood facility could be
located next to, or farther up this tidal creek. The channel would re-
quire additional dredging, as would the boat basin. Any location in the
river provides protection against marine fouling. It is understood from
Mr. John Meyer, City Planner, that a previous study made essentially the
same recommendation.
Apalachicola offers several potential sites for a major seafood in-
dustrial park serving the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Turtle Harbor is
an area up Scipio Creek that could be developed. The initial land is low
and dredging costs would be at a minimum. A dredge and fill operation of
the 90 or so acres needed would upgrade this area. With the presence of
large amounts of mud, structures would have to be placed on pilings. A
channel would have to be extended to the site. A swing bridge with a ver-
tical clearance of only 28 feet is located at the river mouth and may pro-
vide a temporary obstacle for the larger vessels.
Another possible location could be the area along the mainland shore,
south of the airport. Several dredge spoil dumps and a channel presently






0 I




Figure 34.--Channel locations, road and rail facilities in the Apalachicola and Eastpoint areas.
Source: NOAA/NOS nautical charts.

Figure 35.--Aerial view of the Apalachicola and Eastpoint areas.
Source: Mark Hurd color infrared photography, 1973.

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exist. This site would eliminate piling construction necessary in the mud
environment up Scipio Creek and the problem with the bridge. Storm pro-
tection and antifouling advantages would be less at this location. A suit-
able navigational channel and breakwater would also be required. Apala-
chicola does possess a number of marine related industries and support fa-
cilities necessary for a seafood park complex.

Eastpoint, Franklin County

Eastpoint is located east of the mouth of the Apalachicola River on a
series of ancient beach ridges which form the southern front of the fore-
land. The small, linear mainland community faces a lagoon protected by
St. George Island. This portion of the lagoon is different from the
typical portions of St. George Sound to the east, and Apalachicola Bay to
the west, in that there is a series of arcuate shoals. It is obvious from
the aerial photographs that the shoals are related to the fact that St.
George Island is a composite of two former islands separated by a large
inlet at the position of East Gap. The extensive shoals and the fluctu-
ating water salinity caused by the fresh water discharge of the nearby
river make this an ideal area for oyster production and harvest.
Eastpoint fishermen indicated a need for a breakwater. At the pre-
sent time, most of the oyster houses are located along a short portion of
the bayshore that is partially protected by a discontinuous spoil dump,
offshore. This dump is visible on the accompanying maps, Figures 33 and
34 and in the aerial photography, Figure 35. An excellent protected har-
bor for the small oyster boats could have been developed if the spoil
placement had been properly planned. The breakwater should be placed to
the west, using interlocking sheet piles.
Eastpoint can best serve only the oyster fishermen who are presently
utilizing its limited facilities. A causeway and a fixed bridge with a
vertical clearance of 40 feet provide a minor obstacle to access by large
vessels approaching from the west. These structures, however, essentially
follow Bulkhead Shoals, a natural obstacle. Without the Intracoastal
Waterway, boats with drafts of greater than five feet could not pass.
Eastpoint should probably not be considered as a potential site for
a seafood park. Although space is available, this site has few marine

- -s


10 II II

12 10
13 12

10 8 3

6 13 13 9
14 14
15 5
15 15

14 16


17 18

19 19
20 I 16

19 21 ._ 17

19 21

22 21
19 15

10 6

4 4 66
3 6
6_ 5 7


18 22

01 20

15 I


21 21


II 19 2
ti 21 14 9
14 20 17 10
14 10
16 22
S 16 2414 5 17
7 21
6 6 II 20
7 67 622 15
8 16 20 15
I 19 21
17 IS
22 17
21 18 26
24 22 21

3 5 3

9 7

4 4
10 6

10 16


2 ^ 2
9 6
II 4


7 II



19 20

26 22


6 16


7 II

15 19


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Figure 36.--Bathymetry and potential port improvement site in the
Carrabelle area.

Source: NOAA/NOS nautical charts.



4 9
I 10

9 II

13 12
1 14



industries or support facilities. The presence of the bridge and shoals
would further hinder navigation and would require the dredging of a chan-

Carrabelle, Franklin County

Two small tributaries, the New River and the Crooked River, drain the
swamps of the eastern portion of the Apalachicola Foreland and merge to
form the Carrabelle River. Pertinent features and information are pre-
sented on Figures 36 and 37. The features are visible on the aerial
photo, Figure 38. This river serves as the community's harbor. The town
is located on the eastern bank of the river which is a paleodune field.
Land rises ten feet or more above sea level, and at some locations, the
elevation reaches 40 feet.
The existing dock facilities are located on the east and northeast
side of the river. This location is on the outside of a meander where the
strongest currents in the river channel exist. Past erosion associated
with the development of the estuary is probably responsible for the local
removal of shallow rock that existed in the harbor area.
The Carrabelle River empties into St. George Sound where the naviga-
tional channel is maintained to 15 feet. The channel continues around
the eastern end of the barrier island, known as Dog Island, and connects
with the open Gulf.
Use of the-Carrabelle River channel as a harbor has several advan-
tages. This location combines the added protection of the river channel
with the protection that the barrier island chain offers against storms.
During severe storms, the lower portions of the New and Crooked rivers are
navigable and provide further safe refuge. Also, the fresh river water
helps eliminate fouling.
The fishermen of Carrabelle indicated a need for increased dock
space. The logical place to develop a landing is on Timber Island. This
area is largely undeveloped. Here, a spoil dump ten to 20 feet high has
upgraded a previously existing saltwater marsh. An access road and util-
ities already exist on the island.
A moderate sized basin could be economically dredged just to the west
of the spoil. Carrabelle is in the transition zone between the Embayed


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Figure 37.--Channel location and roads in the Carrabelle area.
Source: NOAA/NOS nautical charts.

Figure 38.--Aerial view of Carrabelle.
Source: Mark Hurd color infrared photography, 1973.

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Alluvial Coast to the west and the Big Bend Drowned Karst division to the
east. Although rock has been eroded from the channel, other limestone may
be encountered during dredging and construction operations. From the im-
agery, it appears that much of the sediment that has backfilled into this
drowned estuary has been carried by tidal currents from the lagoon, not
storm floods from the land. Thus, little maintenance would be required
if the new basin and channel interconnection were established in this lo-
cation. Serious consideration should not be given to any locations farther
upstream, due to the presence of a fixed bridge just west of Timber Island.
This bridge has a vertical clearance of 40 feet and would limit the vessels
using the facilities.

Panacea, Wakulla County

Panacea is a small coastal village at the western portion of the
drowned limestone plain. As seen from the complementing maps, Figures 39
and 40, and the aerial photo, Figure 41, land gives way to the sea via a
wide, complex belt of tidal marshes, flats, shoals, oyster bars, and chan-
nels. The water nearshore is extremely shallow-and wave action is minimal.
No beaches or barrier islands exist. Eastward, most of the arcuate re-
entrant coast, known as the Apalachee Bay, is smoother. This is probably
due to less surfical sand.
Although the complex belt of marine lowlands provides adequate pro-
tection to the harbor during normal storm surges, a hurricane surge would
be disastrous. The lowlands of this area extend inland approximately a
mile and a half before high ground is encountered. This, in combination
with the configuration of the shoreline and the shallowness of Apalachee
Bay, affords little protection against larger storms.
The fishermen using the facilities at Panacea indicated a need for
additional dock space and improved channel conditions. The most logical
sites for additional docking would be on Hungry Point or Porter Island.
Both areas have been upgraded by the placement of dredge spoil and both
have road access and utilities nearby. Hungry Point would require the
least amount of dredging to develop a basin for the landing facilities.
An interconnection with the existing navigational channel would also have
to be dredged. Minor expansion of existing facilities should also be con-

Figure 39.--Bathymetry, potential port and port improvement sites in
the Panacea area.
Source: NOAA/NOS nautical charts.


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Figure 40.--Channel location and roads in the Panacea area.

Source: NOAA/NOS nautical charts.

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Figure 41.--Aerial view of Panacea.
Source: Mark Hurd color infrared photography, 1972.

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As previously mentioned, this is a limestone coast and rock may be
encountered in the dredging operations. Such rock removal increases con-
struction costs dramatically. Attempts to straighten the meandering navi-
gational channel would be expensive. The shifting sands would increase
maintenance problems. Such expenditures may not be justified for a small
community that serves relatively few fishermen. Improvements, though, are
needed to serve the existing fishing industry.
Due to the lack of storm protection, supporting facilities and indus-
tries, and potential hazardous navigation, this port should not be consid-
ered as a potential site for a large seafood park. A possible alternative
site may lie to the south of Panacea, in the estuary of the Ochlockonee

Summary and Conclusions

The Remote Sensing Applications Laboratory at the University of Flor-
ida was asked to assist in the selection and evaluation of a potential
site for an industrial seafood park as a step in providing for the future
needs of the commercial fishing industry in northern Florida. This task
was to be accomplished by employing various remote sensing techniques to
pre-determined areas. These selections were based on a completed economic
study and research by the Florida Agricultural Market Research Center
(FAMRC). An objective emphasized the selection and evaluation of potential
areas with respect to expansion and improvements of existing facilities,
in accordance with identified problems and needs of the seven selected areas
in five Gulf coast counties.
Our research suggests that thesports fishermen are generally better
served by support installations and facilities in the panhandle of Florida
than are those whose livelihood depend upon catching, processing and mar-
keting seafood. The Florida Coastal Coordinating Council, in their re-
gional analysis reports, makes no note of the facilities available to com-
mercial fishermen, but report in detail boat ramps, marinas, and other
facilities available to sportsmen. Sport craft basins were observed in
many locations during the course of our study. These sport ports were
probably constructed with public funds. This should afford argument for
the commercial fishermen for like expenditures.

In regard to the original objective, the data collected and analyzed
by this laboratory and the FAMRCsuggests that a centralized seafood park
is not justified at this time. A change in the present commercial fishing
industry of the Florida panhandle must occur before such justification can
be given. An increased demand for fishing, requiring the utilization of
previously little known and unused species, must occur before transforma-
tion in the attitudes and fishing methods takes place. The present habits
of the fishermen and the distances involved suggest that the expansion and
improvement of commercial installations would best serve the industry.
In the event that a park were justified, the laboratory suggests sev-
eral possible locations. These selections are based on various physio-
graphic and hydrographic considerations, as well as industrial and cultur-
al development, available support facilities, and geographic location.
Possible sites include Dyers Point in Panama City, the Palm Point area
near Port St. Joe, the Turtle Harbor area and the location south of the
airport in Apalachicola, and the estuary of the Ochlockonee River. Pan-
ama City and Apalachicola have the best supporting industries, while Port
St. Joe offers space for development. Because of the centralized geograph-
ic position of Apalachicola, more use might be made of a park at this loca-
The recommendations, comments, and major considerations made in regard
to the selection and evaluation of identified needs in the study areas are
summarized in Table 54. The findings in this report are offered only as
suggestions. Local socio-economic factors and other factors not determined
in our cursory study could be of overwhelming importance.

Table 54.--Summary of the recommendations and major considerations for seafood port improvement in north Florida.

Recommendations and comments

Major considerations for recommended locationa
Advantage Disadvantage

Renovate downtown location Present marine facilities
Establish facilities in Bayou Chico Present industrial location

Utilize and expand St. Andrew Marina, Present marine facilities
develop waterfront north of marina.
Utilize downtown marina Present marine facilities
develop waterfront to the west;

Incorporate in new construction

Limited expansion along north Storm protection
side of Gulf County Canal
Maintained depth should be adequate
for present fishing operations

Develop facilities up Scipio Creek Elevation of land; storm
Present channel depth adequate unless
facility is constructed up Scipio Creek

Location spoil west of present location;
incorporate sheet piles in construction

Develop facilities on Timber Island Storm protection

Develop facilities on Hungry Point Requires less dredging
Develop facilities on Porter Island Greater available space
Expand existing facilities Present marine facilities
Maintain adequate depth in present
channel; not economically feasible to
straighten channel

Limited space

Limited space
Bridge obstruction; additional dredging

Cost of deep water construction

Proximity to downtown

Land elevation

Bridge obstruction;
necessary piling construction

May encounter rock during construction

Possible space limitation
Distance from existing facilities
Limited space

aDue to limited space, all advantage and disadvantages included in the text are not listed above.




Panama City

Port St. Joe



















arcuate reentrant












- recent deposits in the form of clays, sands, gravels,
peats, etc.

- curved or bowed

- any curved or bowed indentation in a landform

- relating to measurements of depth

- point formed by two intersecting crescents

- relating to the processes of earth movements, that
is, upheavel or settling

- pertaining to world wide changes in sea level

- a group of inclined beds all dipping in the same

- one of a series of somewhat regular and looplike
bends in the course of a stream

- inactive ancient sand dune

- to advance seaward resulting from nearshore deposi-
tion of sediments brought to the sea by rivers

- all geologic time and deposits from the close of the
Pleistocene, less than 10,000 years

- unconsolidated alluvial occurring on the earth's

- pertaining to the work structure and external forms
resulting from the deformation of the earth's crust


Organizations Offering Available Imagery and Information

Florida Department of Natural Resources
Division of Resource Management
Bureau of Coastal Zone Planning
Crown Building
202 Blount Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32304

Florida Resource and Environmental
Analysis Center
362 Bellamy Building
Florida State University
Tallahassee, Florida 32306

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Mobile District Office
P.O. Box 2288
Mobile, Alabama 366

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Stabilization and
Conservation Service
2222 West, 2300 South
P.O. Box 30010
Salt Lake City, Utah 84125

U.S. Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Rockville, Maryland 208

U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
EROS Data Center
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 57198

U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
NCIC Headquarters
507 National Center
Reston, Virginia 32306

Type of Imagery or Information
Coastal Zone Management Atlases

Mark Hurd color infrared
Mark Hurd black line photos
covering USGS quadrangle

Black and white photography
covering Corps projects

Black and white photography,
sequential coverage

Nautical charts

Satellite imagery

Topographic maps (quadrangle
Satellite image mosaic of
Florida, 1973
Individual satellite image
maps from mosaic

Additional information available upon request from the Remote Sensing
Applications Laboratory, 346 Weil Hall, University of Florida, 32611


A Summary of Knowledge of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. S.U.S. Florida Insti-
tute of Oceanography, St. Petersburg, 1973.

Brooks, H. K. "Geological Oceanography" in: A Summary of Knowledge of the
Eastern Gulf of Mexico. 1973: pp. IIE-1 IIE-49.

Moe, M. A. Jr. A Survey of Offshore Fishing in Florida. Professional Pa-:
pers Series, No. 4, Florida State Board of Conservation Marine Labor-
atory, St. Petersburg, 1963.

Schnable,'J. E. "The Evolution and Development of Part of the Northwest
Florida Coast." Ph. D dissertation, Florida State University, Talla-
hassee, 1966.

Schnable, J. E. and H. G. Goodell. "Pleistocene-Recent Stratigraphy, Evol-
ution, and Development of the Apalachicola Coast, Florida." Geol.
Soc. America Special Paper. No. 112(1968): pp. 1-72.

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