Navarre Beach

Jennie McKeon / WUWF

If you’re thinking of heading to Navarre Beach despite its closure — don’t. 

Since Santa Rosa County Commissioners made the decision to close Navarre Beach last Friday, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office has been monitoring the area, including a checkpoint where all vehicles on Gulf Boulevard must provide a valid reason for driving through. 

“We have four deputies out there 24/7 until we’re relieved,” explained Sgt. Rich Aloy. “Our goal is to make it clear that the beaches are closed.” 

Jennie McKeon / WUWF

Santa Rosa County officials on Friday closed Navarre Beach in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19. In addition, the county ordered all restaurants to sell food by takeout or delivery. 

It was a reversal of an announcement Thursday afternoon that the beach would remain open.

Photo via Flickr// dawgfanjeff / https://flic.kr/p/fDtMgJ

Work is scheduled to get underway in the next few days, on restoring parts of Navarre Beach, by pumping sand from the Gulf of Mexico.

The firm Weeks Marine has been contracted to dredge and place 1.3 million cubic yards of sand onto the beach. Santa Rosa County Engineer Roger Blalock says the work will stretch from the border of Gulf Islands National Seashore to the west -- through Navarre Beach Marine Park to the east.

U.S. Army photo/Sgt. Sara Wakai

It was one year ago that a UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter conducting a training exercise crashed into Santa Rosa Sound near Navarre killing all eleven crew members aboard. A ceremony honoring the seven marines and four Army National Guardsmen was held Thursday evening.

A public ceremony was held at the Navarre Beach Marine Park, on Gulf Blvd. Braving the wind and rain; several hundred people were in attendance including community leaders, military members, and family members of the fallen.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

Santa Rosa County is asking the state for $8 million for a major renourishment project on Navarre Beach. Roger Blaylock, a Santa Rosa County Engineer and Navarre Beach Director says there have been signs of erosion on the beach and the county has requested funds from the state to rebuild the entire beach.

Photo via Flickr//Ben Ferenchak

Dangerous surf conditions along the local beaches are in the forecast for early this week, as the number of lifeguards on Pensacola Beach are at their normal October reduction in force. Red flags are also up at Navarre Beach in Santa Rosa County, where lifeguards will be on duty through October 31.