City of Gulfport: Submerged Land Lease
Q: How does a submerged land lease impact what happens on the beach and the pier? What about upstream activities, as someone recently mentioned at city council - can people conduct business upstream of state land leased to cities?
A: According to city manager Jim O’Reilly, the city’s submerged land lease “does not impact what happens on the beach.” That’s because the city owns the beach. The city has a submerged land lease for the land under Williams Pier, and the lease says that Gulfport will keep that area “accessible and open for public use.”
As for the upstream activities issue, Mr. O’Reilly referred us to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. This board determines the impact, criteria and conditions of the submerged land leases.
The Board of Trustees includes Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, and Commissioner Adam Putnam. The state Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) advises the cabinet.
Ana Gibbs with the FDEP says that “usually, upstream activity doesn’t affect the lease. It’s very specific to the footprint” (of the leased land).
To view a copy of the submerged land lease for Williams Pier, visit TheGabber.com.