The City of Panama City has received a Coastal Partnership Initiative Grant to fund the construction of three new kayak launches along St Andrew Bay. The new launches will be installed at Lake Huntington, Calhoun Park, and Asbell Park and become part of the Panama City Water Trail, a public recreational trail for hand-propelled, non-motorized watercraft.
The dock systems with kayak launches will be handicap accessible and improve the capacity for paddlers of all abilities to access the bay safely.
The Panama City Water Trail is Segment 3 of the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, Florida's longest and most ambitious sea kayaking trail. It begins at Big Lagoon State Park near Pensacola, extends around the Florida peninsula and Keys, and ends at Fort Clinch State Park near the Georgia state line in Fernandina Beach. The Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail is a 1,515-mile sea kayaking paradise and includes every Florida coastal habitat type, from barrier island dune systems to salt marsh to mangroves. Numerous historical sites and points of interest are accessible by kayak along with colorful fishing communities and urban centers.
The addition of new launches will build upon the city’s single existing kayak launch at Millville Waterfront Park on Watson Bayou. The park is located at 301 Maple Avenue.
Construction of new dock systems will be completed in-house by staff with the Quality of Life and Public Works Departments.
The Coastal Partnership Initiative Grant, administered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), was established to promote the protection and effective management of Florida's coastal resources at the local level. Grants support four program areas: resilient communities, public access, working waterfronts and coastal stewardship. In the past, coastal paddling trail development and primitive campsite improvements such as composting toilets have been funded.