The Collier Board of County Commissioners voted yesterday to kill a proposal to build a parking garage at Clam Pass Park in northern Collier County. This site annually hosts one of the largest wintering flocks of Black Skimmers in the eastern United States. Individuals from breeding colonies up and down the east coast spend their winters here, loafing and feeding in the shallow waves.
Several proposals to increase access to this coveted beach were floated by the Commission over the decades without success. This plan would have doubled the number of available parking spaces, from 198 to 396, at a cost to taxpayers of roughly $12 million.
During the public comment portion of Tuesday's meeting, county officials heard from members of the community including staff and volunteers with Audubon Florida and Audubon of the Western Everglades. Their testimonials were integral in this effort, resulting in a huge win for the birds that are already losing so much.
While County officials are still considering other options for enhancing park amenities, they made it clear that a parking garage was not going to fly.