Thanks to Mayor Nancy Shaver, city and county staff, volunteers and sponsors for a successful 450th party. We're all grateful for Mayor Shaver's pointed questions that kept the 450th celebration from being a scandalous disaster.
What's next? What's our 450th legacy?
The St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore. No, not eyesore. Seashore. www.staugustgreen.com
2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service -- America's Best Idea.
It's how we get the $100 million for a pumping system to keep St. Augustine from being inundated.
It's how we preserve our current state parks, forests, water management district lands and beaches forever inviolate.
It's how we pay for St. Augustine Beach's $5 million purchase of the remaining Maratea property.
It's how we save the Dow Museum of Historic Homes and other historic structures from greedy "developers."
Watch video here.
Guest Column: St. Augustine must have a national park, seashore and scenic coastal parkway -- see www.staugustgreen.com
Publication Date: 03/26/07
Real estate speculators (some foreign-funded) continue to destroy our local wildlife, habitat, nature and history. Roads are clogged. Noise abounds. Our way of life is being destroyed. Unfeeling, uncaring Philistines are turning St. Johns County into an uglier, unreasonable facsimile of South Florida. Unjust county government stewards allowed an asphalt plant near homes. Another plant reportedly emits 50 tons/year of volatile organic compounds into residents' and workers' lungs and brains.
Speculators are even trying to build homes on top of unremediated septic tanks/fields, while vacationing boaters pollute our Bay front with untreated sewage (the only boat-pumpout-station is at Conch House Marina). Our Bay front (which lacks a harbormaster) had an oil spill Jan. 15. Developers demand to build docks over city-owned State Road 312 area marshes for boat-owners' pleasure. Enough.
Let's invite environmental tourism by preserving an "emerald necklace of parks," including the city-owned marsh.
Ask Congress to hold hearings to map our "St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore" (SANHPNS), using 1928-style trolleycars to save gasoline, uniting the Castillo and Fort Matanzas National Monuments, "slave market park," downtown streets, Government House, Red House Bluff indigenous village (next to historical society), marshes, forests, National Cemetery, GTM NERR, Anastasia State Park, Fort Mose and other city, county, state and St. Johns River Water Management District lands.
Let's cancel future shock/schlock/sprawl/ugliness/skyscrapers and eliminate temptations to abuse/neglect/misuse state parks and historic buildings for golf courses and rote, rube commercialism.
In December, State Sen. Jim King suggested Florida donate "deed and title" of state buildings to our city. I suggested that we deed them to the National Park Service (NPS), with St. George Street visitor center in restored buildings, saving millions (as in the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park).
St. Augustine needs a national civil rights and indigenous history museum, celebrating local residents and national leaders, whose courage helped win passage of 1964's Civil Rights Act. Why not put the museum in the old Woolworth's building, restored to its former glory, with wood floors, lunch-counter and exhibits on the civil rights struggles that changed history (well- documented in Jeremy Dean's documentary, "Dare Not Walk Alone"), with "footsoldiers monument" across the street ?
Why not (finally) implement the 2003 National Trust for Historic Preservation and Flagler College study on how to protect our history? Let's tax tourists more to fund historic preservation, as in Charleston/elsewhere.
Let's preserve/protect the quality of our lives and visitors' experience (and property values) by preserving forever what speculators haven't destroyed (yet).
Let's adopt a three-year moratorium on growth, while we work to adopt truly comprehensive plans worthy of the name.
Colonial National Historical Park (NHP), Philadelphia's Independence NHP and NHPs in Boston, New Bedford, Valley Forge, San Francisco and Saratoga.
There's a Martin Luther King historical site in Atlanta, NHPs for "Rosie the Riveter" (California) and the "War in the Pacific" (Guam), and new parks slated for ten Japanese internment camps.
Florida hosts Everglades, Dry Tortugas and Biscayne National Parks and Canaveral National Seashore. Let's add St. Augustine to the list.
From sea to shining sea, America's coastal areas enjoy national parks. Where's ours?
Let's make parts of State Road A1A a National Parkway and hiking/biking trail, like the Colonial National Historical Parkway and the Baltimore Washington, George Washington, Rock Creek and John D. Rockefeller (Wyoming) Parkways and the Appalachian Trial and C&O Canal.
Let's add St. Augustine to the list of our nation's most beloved national parks, joining Zion, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and the Great Smoky Mountains.
Florida's 500th and St. Augustine's 450th anniversaries are only six and eight years away (2013 and 2015). Enacting a national park and seashore will forever preserve the treasures that we love. It will halt the sprawl we hate, increase tourism and reduce local taxes, paying speculators to stop.
Mayor Joe Boles' mother graciously thanked me for speaking out on these issues after the Jan. 22 City Commission meeting -- issues that Mrs. Boles has been outspoken about for "30 years." Let's honor/heed Mrs. Boles' wisdom -- and those who proposed a national park before World War II. Let's save St. Augustine and our environment forever.
Ed Slavin lives in St. Augustine.
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© The St. Augustine Record
From the January 1, 2011 issue of St. Augustine Underground (published by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which also publishes the Ponte Vedra Recorderand Clay Today):
St. Augustine’s History is A National treasure -- The time has come to bring out the big guns and protect our nationally important local heritage with the creation of The St. Augustine National Historical Park, Seashore and Coastal Parkway.
By Ed Slavin
A famous journalism professor said
that “if you’re going to tell a
story about a bear, bring on the
Here’s how to protect St. Johns
County’s bears – and other endangered
and threatened species – while growing
our economy and making life better for
your grandchildren (and their grandchildren).
2011 is critical to reviving our local
economy, creating jobs and preserving
our city’s and our county’s environment
How do we revive our depressed local
tourist economy? How do we get “out
of the ditch,” which Wall Street and
local speculators created?
By persuading Congress to enact a
St. Augustine National Historical Park,
Seashore and Coastal Parkway.
Let’s donate 13 large tracts: the
Florida Department of Environmental
Protection’s Guana Tolomato Matanzas
National Estuarine Research Reserve,
Anastasia State Park, Faver-Dykes
State Park and Fort Mosé State Park;
Florida Department of Agriculture’s
Deep Creek State Forest and Watson
Island State Forest; St. Johns County
beaches and the Nocatee Preserve; and
St. Johns River Water Management
District ‘s Twelve Mile Swamp, Deep
Creek, Matanzas Marsh, Moses Creek
and Stokes Landing preserves.
Let’s donate them to the federal government
for the St. Augustine National
Historical Park and Seashore. These
vast tracts of government-owned land
are suitable for a National Park and
Seashore – more than 120,000 acres.
In Woodie Guthrie’s words, “This land
is our land” already – it is our county
beaches, state parks and forests and
water management district land. Combined
with the Castillo de San Marcos
and Fort Matanzas, this land will make
one glorious National Park and Seashore,
making us all proud and properly
celebrating St. Augustine’s 450th
birthday (2015) and Spanish Florida’s
Donating the land can save more than
$33 million over 10 years for state and
local governments; revive our economy;
create better-paying jobs with real
futures; protect our historic and environmental
heritage; teach our children
about history, beauty and nature; better
preserve our beaches; protect homes
from erosion; raise our property values;
and protect wildlife.
Let’s put people to work and draw
environmental and historic tourists,
who National Trust for Historic Preservation
and other studies say spend
more and visit longer, putting more
proverbial “heads in beds.” How? By
empowering our National Park Service
– America’s favorite federal agency. Ken
Burns’ PBS documentary rightly called
our National Parks “America’s Best
Idea.” We need one here.
Let’s teach history and nature to
future generations with a National Civil
Rights museum here in St. Augustine
and by celebrating all our history
-- 11,000 years of indigenous Native
American, African-American, Spanish,
Minorcan, French, English, Civil War,
Roman Catholic, Greek, Jewish, Protestant,
nautical, military, Flagler-era and
Civil Rights history.
Let’s preserve our endangered and
threatened species -- including right
whales (only 350 left, reportedly the
most endangered whales on the planet)
-- as well as turtles, bears, bald eagles,
manatees, beach mice and butterflies.
This Park and Seashore will rival Cape
Cod National Seashore, the Everglades,
Philadelphia and other tourist “hot
spots,” giving teachers and parents
tools to teach children lessons that will
keep them coming back for life.
Our state’s economy has suffered so
much since the Deepwater Horizon
disaster. We look to British Petroleum
to pay for it all as part of its economic
and environmental remediation to the
State of Florida.
The first step is for our governor and
legislature to agree to donate this land
to the federal government for one “public
park or pleasuring ground for the
benefit and enjoyment of the people,”
as Congress said in 1872 in creating
Yellowstone National Park.
Here are some frequently asked questions:
1. Will this park legislation violate
private property rights? No. The draft
legislation provides for donations of
government lands and donations or
sales from willing sellers. Condemnation
lawsuits are authorized only to
“preserve [historic buildings and land]
2. How would the park affect local
businesses, tourist attractions and
churches? Very positively. Historic and
environmental tourists spend more and
stay longer, studies show. This will create
more good-paying jobs, in the Park
Service, kayaking, tour-guide
companies, restaurants, hotels
and guest houses. There’s
a list of tourist attractions
and places of worship in the
legislation that the National
Park Service could assist with
historic interpretation. It
includes churches where Rev.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rev.
Andrew Young spoke, working with
local residents to create our 1964 Civil
3. Will this legislation take over the
government of the City of St. Augustine?
No. But St. Augustine can donate
a few parks to the cause. Our city needs
help and cannot handle the 450th celebration
alone. A greater National Park
Service presence here will help better
guide and orient millions of visitors.
The Park will help make our city a
better place – just ask the residents of
Cape Cod and Cape Hatteras.
4. What positive changes will creation
of a St. Augustine National Park and
A. Increase property values and local
tax collections. Property values
increase near National Parks and Seashores.
Bed tax and sales tax receipts
B. Grow our economy. Our local
economy is stagnant. The National
Park Service will help get us out of the
C. Reduce spending by our state, local
and water management district government
– savings of $33 million over ten
D. Increase the quality of tourism
marketing -- greatly simplified by combining
all this land into one National
E. Improve the quality of historic and
environmental interpretation, preservation
and protection. Right now, tourists
learn very little about our African-
American and Civil Rights history, for
example, or the heroic history of the
Minorcans and other immigrants to our
shores, or the endangered species that
make this area a paradise. The National
Park Service is experienced at protecting
nature and interpreting history
while stimulating tourism. A National
Civil Rights museum here in St. Augustine
will attract more school groups
and minority tourists – Rev. Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr. is known world-wide
and his legacy here will attract tourists.
5. How will this affect historic reenactors?
Good jobs await them at the
National Park Service.
6. Is this legislation family-friendly?
Yes. Residents and tourists will thank
you for creating a wholesome place to
take children where they learn about
history and our environment, with a
classroom that is as big as all outdoors,
embracing 11,000 years of human history
on these shores.
7. How will this affect beach driving?
The legislation does not address
it, either way. Elsewhere, as in Cape
Cod, residents are licensed to drive on
National Park Service beaches after
proper training and can take tourists on
8. Is there a potential downside?
One. Proper transportation planning
is required to avoid congestion. The
draft bill requires a plan for “cost-effective,
environmentally-friendly means of
transporting visitors and residents to
and through the park’s locations, using
trolley cars resembling those in use in
St. Augustine, Florida, in 1928, with
the goal of reducing hydrocarbon consumption,
traffic congestion, air pollution
and damage to historic structures.”
9. When was the National Park idea
first proposed? Some 70 years ago,
before World War II.
10. What are we waiting for? You tell
Will you please help us celebrate
11,000 years of history and protect
what deserves protecting forever inviolate?
Will you please share your suggestions
about how to improve the first
draft of the legislation? Let us work together
to accomplish something we can
all be proud of for future generations
yet unborn who will say, “thank you.”
Please see www.staugustgreen.com
St. Augustine activist Ed Slavin
(B.S.F.S., Georgetown University, J.D.
Memphis State University) first proposed
the St. Augustine National Park and
Seashore Nov. 13, 2006.
Faye Armitage: Preserve and Protect All of Our City's History: St. Augustine Record (2009)
Posted: November 7, 2009 - 12:46am
By FAYE ARMITAGE
On Nov. 2, I received my First America Passport at the City of St. Augustine's 450th Commemoration Town Hall Meeting at the Flagler College Auditorium. A beautiful rubber-stamp adorns page one of my new passport (co-sponsored by augustine.com). Seven other events are planned, paying tribute to Native Americans, colonists, pirates, the British, Florida "Crackers," Flagler's Age of Opulence, and the Civil Rights era in St. Augustine. Each can earn you another stamp on your way to becoming an ambassador for the first city in our nation: St. Augustine.
Attendance was terrific, about 150. The presentation by Dana Ste. Claire was excellent. See www.staugustinegovernment.com.
Mayor Joe Boles urged attendees to "be creative," explaining how Jamestown welcomed 3-4 million visitors during its 400th birthday, bringing more than $1 billion in economic activity, along with international visitors (including the Queen of England). Heritage and environmental tourism is a very sustainable tourism, growing jobs without pollution. Our planning must preserve and protect, in the words of Frederick Law Olmsted, an "emerald necklace of parks," with a museum covering 11,000 years of history, including Indian, Spanish, African-American, French, English, Minorcan, Civil War, Flagler era and Civil Rights history.
This would empower Florida's schoolchildren to learn from history and nature, while providing the unique St. Augustine "branding" opportunity to grow our economy. That's why I support creation of a St. Augustine National Historical Park, Seashore and Coastal Parkway. Let's combine five state parks into one national park to better protect these local treasures (adding other lands as appropriate, including current St. Johns River Water Management District land).
For more information, check staugustgreen.com. Anyone who watched Ken Burns' 12-hour PBS documentary, "The National Parks, America's Best Idea," knows that our national parks are a uniquely American idea that protects nature and history from destruction. From the Everglades to the Grand Canyon to volcanoes to historic Philadelphia, Boston and New Bedford, the National Park Service is uniquely qualified to interpret our human and natural history. Let's ask NPS to educate Americans about our Nation's Oldest City.
The park could include light rail to connect St. Augustine to the beaches and what are currently state parks, like Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Reserve (GTM-NERR) and Anastasia State Park, relieving traffic congestion and enhancing the visitor experience.
The park would raise our property values, help fight coastal erosion and wetland destruction, increase sustainable tourism, providing better jobs. Tourism drives our local economy. A national park would increase the length and quality of tourist stays, while making visits here a learning experience for everyone.
Seventh District incumbent U.S. Rep. John Mica recently obtained $500,000 funding for design of a brand-new National Park Service visitors center, located directly across from Castillo de San Marcos.
St. Augustine doesn't need a new building there. That's why I support a visitors' center located elsewhere, perhaps in restored buildings on St. George Street or at Sebastian Inland Harbor, interpreting all of our history and nature, while showing off and encouraging our visitors to enjoy our port, marshes, rivers, seashore and forests. Let's not worsen congestion of downtown. We need a park, not more pork.
We are blessed to live in St. Augustine and St. Johns County and we must adopt legislation to ensure that the places we love are preserved forever, preserving our way of life with an "emerald necklace of parks."
Rose Kennedy's favorite Bible quote was: "To whom much has been given, much is expected." (Luke 12:48).
Let's honor our precious cultural heritage, protect our environment and help grow our economy by having portions of St Augustine and St. Johns County designated as America's next National Park. Yes we can.
Faye Armitage is an economist and mother of five who lives in Fruit Cove. She was the Democratic nominee in the Seventh Congressional District against Rep. John Mica in 2008, earning nearly 150,000 votes in a district, which stretches from Ponte Vedra to Daytona Beach and Orlando.
Faye Armitage's 2009 Folio Weekly Backpage Editorial, "Saving St. Augustine" on St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore
Saving St. Augustine
St. Augustine’s small-town Spanish Colonial charm is in
danger of being ruined by schlock. We love St. Augustine
and must preserve the beauty of endangered Matanzas Inlet
sunsets, Anastasia Island beach mice, nesting leatherback
turtles, soaring families of bald eagles and frolicking schools of manatees and whales. Florida’s First Coast deserves a first
class National Park for the 500th anniversary of Spanish
Florida (in 2013) and 450th anniversary of St. Augustine
The late U.S. Speaker of the House Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill and Edward Boland of Massachusetts made history in
1958, courageously working to protect Cape Cod’s charm forever. Boland returned in 1958 from a trip to Cape Hatteras
National Seashore. Within a fortnight, the two Massachusetts Democrats introduced the Cape Cod National Seashore Act
(backed by John F. Kennedy only after he
Commercial interests thought that a
national seashore would be bad for business.
They were wrong. Today we scoff at
the quaint story of O’Neill and Boland
being hung in effigy and booed in the Cape
Cod towns of Wellfleet and Truro, where
citizens, in their annual town meetings,
voted against the bill.
Even JFK, the Pulitzer Prize-winning
author of “Profiles in Courage,” feared local
commercial interests in Massachusetts
when it came to proposing a national
seashore. JFK later came aboard as president,
to consider the National Seashore the
best thing he ever did for Massachusetts.
Today’s visitors to Cape Cod come from
around the world to partake of its charm,
marshes, woodlands, beaches and towns
that were saved thanks to the vision of
Congressmen O’Neill and Boland.
A St. Augustine National Park was first
proposed before World War II. The idea is
five years older than President Harry S Truman’s
national health insurance proposal.
And as with national health care, Congress
too often resembles a herd of turtles trying
to write a symphony. It’s somewhat understandable
that our two busy U.S. Senators
(and Representative John Luigi Mica)
haven’t introduced a National Historical
Park, Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway.
Legislation moves glacially, except in emergencies.
We have one now.
Our local economy is in a state of emergency.
Businesses are dying. We’re ready for
Congress to stimulate our economy and
preserve our way of life by enacting a St.
Augustine National Historical Park,
Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway Act,
supported by a diverse group of citizens,
from octogenarian environmental activist
Robin Nadeau to former Republican
County Commission Chairperson John
Sundeman to St. Augustine Democratic
Club Chairperson Jeanne Moeller, among a
growing group of people concerned about
the declining quality of the tourist experience
in St. Johns County.
A National Historical Park would preserve
and protect St. Augustine’s historic
downtown with the dignity and experience
of the National Park Service, just as parts of
Boston, New Bedford, Philadelphia and
other historic cities are preserved. It would
step into the breach left by the Florida legislature,
Secretary of State, University of
Florida and city of St. Augustine, all of
whom have been unable to repair crumbling
buildings and historic monuments. A
national historical park would preserve
downtown streets and reduce congestion,
improving the tourist experience and making
it one that longer-staying (and biggerspending)
historic and environmental
tourists will enjoy.
A national historic park managed by the
National Park Service would portray history
and nature accurately, as done in Virginia’s
Colonial Williamsburg and the
Colonial National Historical Parkway.
There could also be a National Civil Rights
and Indigenous History Museum, aimed at
telling the region’s story of 11,000 years of
human history, honoring Native Americans,
African-Americans and the Civil
Rights movement here, which helped win
adoption of national antidiscrimination
laws in 1964. The struggles on St. Augustine’s
streets and beaches, including the
arrest of Massachusetts Governor Endicott
Peabody’s mother and Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr., need to be retold and told well.
soldiers monument in St. Augustine’s Plaza
de la Constitucion, paying tribute to Civil
Rights Era activists whose efforts helped
break the Senate logjam and enact basic
A national seashore and coastal parkway
designation would protect the coast from
uglification, as at other national seashores.
We have 61 miles of coast here, and the
transfer from county to federal jurisdiction
would save local tax monies and make environmental
protection a priority on beaches
where turtles land to give birth, and where
beach mice and other critters scamper.
In September, watch Ken Burns’ PBS
documentary “Our National Parks: America’s
Best Idea.” Think of how uplifting it
will be to be able to drive from Ponte Vedra
to Marineland as a tourist or resident,
secure in the knowledge that the beaches
will survive and not be turned into some
unreasonable facsimile of Miami.
Think of the economic efficiency and
environmental benefits of entrusting city
and county parks, seashore water management
district land and at least five state
parks (including Anastasia and Guana-
Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine
Reserve) to one world-class organization
(the National Park Service) to protect, preserve
and interpret, rather than allowing
the land to be ripped apart by greed.
Think of the good jobs that will encourage
young people to stay here, working as
National Park Service employees and contractors.
Think of historic interpreters and
environmental tour guides who are
rewarded with a federal showcase, inviting
the world to a world-class destination.
Let’s enlist Congress and the president
to help us tell our region’s rich history —
including the story of the Indians, African-
American slaves and Minorcan and Greek
indentured servants (who escaped to St.
Augustine from New Smyrna Beach, “voting
with their feet” against slavery by contract.
Indentured servitude was outlawed
along with regular slavery with the 13th
Amendment in 1865.
Think of how our tourist economy will
be stimulated and jobs created and preserved
by preserving the stunning vistas
that draw people here, not uglifying them
with massive high-rises, suburban sprawl
and unsafe homes built in wetlands.
Think of how fourth-graders now and
in the future, from all over Florida, will be
rewarded for their studies of Florida history
by helping preserve “the real Florida” — St.
Augustine and St. Johns County — forever.
It is up to us to learn from the young
and to protect Northeast Florida for families,
flora, fauna and the future. Visit
staugustgreen.com for more information
and let your neighbors and national and
local leaders know what you think.
Faye Armitage lives in Fruit Cove. In 2008,
she ran against nine-term Congressional
incumbent John Mica, receiving nearly 150,000 votes.
2007 St. Augustine Record Editorial re: National Park: Gift Idea for St. Augustine's 450th -- when will Record endorse the Park and Seashore?
Publication Date: 10/06/07
Gift ideas few for city's big 4-5-0
We asked readers last week to suggest the best gift for the city of St. Augustine's 450th birthday in 2015.
We got a few.
Perhaps most people don't think there's any gift to be had when you reach 450.
Here's what readers told us:
Editor: Our Minorcan family has lived here for some 230 years. For our 450th, to save St. Augustine, our city needs a national historical park, seashore and scenic coastal highway to showcase to the world and to preserve forever our precious cultural, environmental and wildlife heritage.
Editor: I support Ed Slavin's Nov. 13, 2006 proposal for a St. Augustine National Historic Park, National Seashore and National Scenic Coastal Highway. This beautiful historic place must be preserved forever (or else our history and heritage and beauty will be destroyed forever). Congress must act swiftly.
David Brian Wallace
Editor: The newly formed Theatre Saint Augustine has planned a meeting for all members of the community to develop thoughts on how the artistic and historic community can work together towards events for the 450th celebration. The possible development of a revised Cross and Sword, Florida's state play, will be a focus of discussion at the St. Johns County Main Public Library, 1960 N. Ponce de Leon Blvd., for Oct. 22, at 6 p.m., For additional information visit www.theatresaintaugustine.com
Theatre Saint Augustine
Those are some good ideas.
We'd add, too, that perhaps city officials should visit Kansas City, Mo., where beautiful fountains and bronze statues of all sizes delight visitors and residents alike.
Some commemorate events, others people. We've got some statues and fountains already but nothing like you will find in KCMO.
The city is proof, you can never have too many fountains or statues.
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Support St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore -- Even Sheriff David Shoar Called It a "No-brainer" Four (4) Years Ago!
St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore Act of 2016
114th Congress, 2nd Session,
St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore Act of 2016
A BILL to amend Title 16, United States Code, to establishing the St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore and associated Advisory Commission, authorizing donations and purchase of land, authorizing appropriations and for other purposes.
Section 1: Short Title. This Act may be cited as the St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore Act.
Section 2: Title 16, United States Code Section 410 is amended by adding a new section at the end thereof, as follows:
410______ St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore
(a) Findings and purposes
The Congress finds that--
(A) the St. Augustine National Historic District and associated historic sites, including those described in subsection (c)(2) of this section, are National Historic Landmarks and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as historic sites associated with the history of our Nation’s Oldest continually-occupied European-founded city;
(B) the City of St. Augustine was founded by the Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés on September 8, 1565 and retains significant archaeological, architectural features, archival materials, and museum collections illustrative of the Spanish, Minorcan, Greek and British colonial periods;
(C) St. Augustine’s historic resources provide unique opportunities for illustrating and interpreting indigenous (Native-American), African-American, Spanish, Minorcan, Greek, British, American colonial, Civil War, Maritime, and Civil Rights history and Northeast Florida’s contribution to the economic, social, and environmental history of the United States and provide opportunities for public use and enjoyment;
(D) the year 2013 marks the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Spanish explorers and colonists on these shores;
(E) the year 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Right Acts of 1964;
(F) the year 2015 marks the 450th anniversary of the City of St. Augustine;
(G) the National Park System presently contains only two small National Monuments associated with one part of St. Augustine’s 11,000 years of human history;
(H) St. Augustine and St. Johns County are imbued and blessed with great natural beauty and biodiversity, including threatened and endangered species, including beach mice, butterflies, bald eagles and manatees;
(I) the St. Augustine area’s precious environmental, historic and cultural heritage is in danger of destruction due to large-scale, rapid development and a lack of planning for parklands, preservation and public transportation;
(J) several significant properties have been lost to development forever and more are imperiled;
(K) roads are clogged and the enjoyment of the area’s beauty is marred by lack of public transportation; and
(L) there is an urgent need for action on the part of the federal government to preserve the history and beauty of the area and to provide public transportation to serve the millions of visitors annually, while relieving local residents from traffic congestion, air pollution and energy waste associated with rapid development.
The purposes of this section are--
(A) to help preserve, protect, and interpret the splendid environmental and historic resources in St. Augustine and St. Johns County, including architecture, seashores, vistas, settings, and associated archival and museum collections;
(B) to collaborate with the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, State of Florida,the cities of St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach, the Town of Hastings and the government of St. Johns County, Florida and with associated historical, cultural, environmental, tourism and preservation organizations to further the purposes of the park established under this section;
(C) to provide opportunities for the inspirational benefit and education of the American people;
(D) to protect us from hurricanes by protecting wetlands;
(E) to respond to coastal erosion with a coherent management plan;
(F) to protect endangered species and scenery forever;
(G) to grow our economy and encourage historic and environmental tourism; and
(H) to preserve St. Augustine's history and natural beauty for future generations.
For the purposes of this section--
(1) the term "park" means the St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore established by subsection (c) of this section; and
(2) the term "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Interior.
(c) St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore
In order to preserve "for the benefit and enjoyment of the people" of the United States as a national historical park certain districts, structures, lands, waters and relics located in and near St. Augustine, Florida, and associated with the history of indigenous (Native-American), African-American, Spanish, Minorcan, Greek, British and colonial peoples and related social and economic themes in America, there is established the
St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore.
(A) The boundaries of the park shall be those generally depicted on the map numbered _____and dated _____. Such map shall be on file and available for public inspection in the appropriate offices of the National Park Service. In case of any conflict between the descriptions set forth in clauses (i) through (xx) and such map, such map shall govern. The park shall include the following:
(i) The area included within the City of St. Augustine Historic Preservation Districts;
(ii) Anastasia State Park;
(iii) Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and the associated Cubo Line and St. Augustine City Gates sites;
(iv) Fort Matanzas National Monument;
(v) Plaza de la Constitución (Slave Market Square);
(vi) Deep Creek State Forest;
(vii) Faver-Dykes State Park;
(viii) Fort Mosé State Park;
(ix) Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM NERR);
(x) Watson Island State Forest;
(xi) St. Johns River Water Management District’s Twelve Mile Swamp, Deep Creek, Matanzas Marsh Moses Creek and Stokes Landing reservations located in St. Johns County, Florida;
(xii) Designated portions of the seashore owned by St. Johns County, Florida between the Duval and Flagler County lines;
(xiii) Designated portions of U.S. Route A1A between the Duval County and Flagler County lines;
(xiv) Designated portions of U.S. Route 1 between the Duval County and Flagler County lines;
(xv) The former Ponce de León Golf Course, Red House Bluff, Magnolia Avenue and other indigenous (Native-American) sites set forth in the map labeled as ______ and dated _________;
(xvi) Matanzas River between the Matanzas Inlet and its headwaters, including submerged lands and underwater artifacts
(xvii) St. Augustine Seawall;
(xviii) State-owned historic buildings deeded to the University of Florida;
(xix) beaches, submerged lands, marshes and other areas that are owned by the cities of St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach and by the State of Florida in trust for the people of Florida, including marshes, reefs, shorelines and underwater archaeological artifacts;
(xx) Marineland, operated by the University of Florida;
(xxi) Such other areas and sites as Congress may in the future designate by legislation.
(B) In addition to the sites, areas, and relics referred to in subparagraph (A), the Secretary may assist in the interpretation and preservation of each of the following:
(i) Government House;
(ii) Spanish Quarter Village Living History Museum;
(iii) Lincolnville Historic District;
(iv) Designated Civil Rights sites;
(v) Lightner Museum and City Hall (former Alcazar Hotel);
(vi) Old St. Johns County Jail;
(vii) Alligator Farm Zoological Park;
(viii) Old St. Augustine Village;
(ix) St. Augustine Historical Society and Research Library;
(x) St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum and the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP);
(xi) Ximinez-Fatio House;
(xii) St. Photios National Shrine;
(xiii) Mission de Nombre de Dios;
(xiv) Fountain of Youth Historical Park;
(xv) Gonzalez-Alvarez House (Oldest House);
(xvi) Oldest School House;
(xvii) Ponce de León Hotel (now part of Flagler College);
(xviii) Excelsior School Historical Museum;
(xix) Bridge of Lions;
(xx) St. Augustine Cathedral-Basilica;
(xxi) Grace United Methodist Church;
(xxii) Trinity Episcopal Church;
(xxiii) Ancient City Baptist Church;
(xxiv) First Sons of Israel Congregation;
(xxv) Florida School for the Deaf and Blind;
(xxvi) National Guard Headquarters (former Franciscan Monastery or Priory);
(xxvii) St. Augustine National Cemetery and other historic cemeteries, including but not limited to the Huguenot, Tolomato, Evergreen, San Sebastian, Pinehurst, Woodlawn and other historic cemeteries;
(xxviii) Zorayda Castle;
(xxix) Casa Monica Hotel and other Henry Flagler era sites; and
(xxx) Flagler Model Land Community.
(d) Related facilities
To ensure that the contribution of all people in St. Augustine’s history, including indigenous (Native-American) and of African-American people, are fully recognized, the Secretary shall provide--
(1) financial and other assistance to establish links between the St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore and local organizations.
(2) appropriate assistance and funding to establish a St. Augustine National Civil Rights Museum and a St. Augustine Indigenous Tribal Cultural Center.
(3) suitable off-site locations for park vehicles, trolley cars, maintenance facilities, warehouses and offices.
(4) suitable locations for archives, to make them available to scholars, researchers, genealogists and the general public at a suitable hurricane-resistant location in St. Augustine or St. Johns County, Florida.
(5) a reliable source of coquina for repairs to the Castillo de San Marcos, Fort Matanzas and other historic properties, trolley car routes, right-of-way features, roadbuilding, sidewalks and landscaping consistent with historic preservation principles.
(6) educational programs in conjunction with the University of Florida to provide cooperative educational arrangements for graduate students to work and live in the St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore and provide archaeological and interpretation services on a continuing basis.
(e) Administration of park
(1) In general
The park shall be administered by the Secretary in accordance with this section and the provisions of law generally applicable to units of the National Park System, including sections 1, 2, 3, 4, and 461 to 467 of this title.
(2) Cooperative agreements
(A) The Secretary may consult and enter into cooperative agreements with interested entities and individuals to provide for the preservation, development, interpretation, and use of the park.
(B) Any payment made by the Secretary pursuant to a cooperative agreement under this paragraph shall be subject to an agreement that conversion, use, or disposal of the project so assisted for purposes contrary to the purposes of this section, as determined by the Secretary, shall result in a right of the United States to reimbursement of all funds made available to such project or the proportion of the increased value of the project attributable to such funds as determined at the time of such conversion, use, or disposal, whichever is greater.
(3) Non-Federal matching requirements
(A) Funds authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary for the purposes of--
(i) cooperative agreements under paragraph (2) shall be expended in the ratio of one dollar of Federal funds for each four dollars of funds contributed by non-Federal sources; and
(ii) sustainable, carbon-neutral, environmentally-friendly construction, restoration, and rehabilitation of visitors and interpretive facilities (other than annual operation and maintenance costs) shall be expended in the ratio of one dollar of Federal funds for each one dollar of funds contributed by non-Federal sources.
(B) For the purposes of this paragraph, the Secretary is authorized to accept from non-Federal sources, and to utilize for purposes of this section, any money so contributed. With the approval of the Secretary, any donation of property, services, or goods from a non-Federal source may be considered as a contribution of funds from a non-Federal source for the purposes of this paragraph.
(4) Acquisition of real property
For the purposes of the park, the Secretary may acquire by donation or purchase from a willing seller such lands, interests in lands, and improvements thereon within the park boundaries as are needed for historical and environmental preservation and essential visitor contact and interpretive facilities. The Secretary may acquire land or structures through condemnation if necessary to preserve them from destruction.
(5) Other property, funds, and services
The Secretary may accept donated funds, property, and services to carry out this section.
(f) General management plan
Not later than October 31, 2011, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a general management plan for the park, in consultation with the St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore Advisory Commission created in subsection (g), and shall implement such plan as soon as practically possible. The plan shall include a cost-effective, sustainable, carbon-neutral, environmentally-friendly means of transporting visitors and residents to and through the park’s locations, using trolley cars resembling those in use in St. Augustine, Florida in 1928, with the goal of reducing hydrocarbon consumption, traffic congestion, air pollution and damage to historic structures. The plan shall be prepared in accordance with section 1a–7 (b) of this title and other applicable laws and may include suitable recommendations to Congress for modifications of the approved park boundaries and this Act.
(g) St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore Advisory Commission
(1) Establishment; termination
There is established a St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore Advisory Commission (hereinafter referred to as the "Commission"), to be governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. Appendix 2, with a fairly balanced membership and open meetings and financial disclosures as required by FACA. The Commission shall terminate October 1, 2019.
(2) Membership; term
The Commission shall have a fairly balanced membership, embracing diverse persons knowledgeable of history, ecology, anthropology, archaeology, mass transit and trolley car systems and tourism and shall include a balanced group of residents, scholars, environmental, civil rights and civic activists and businesspeople, and will be composed of twelve diverse members, each of whom shall be appointed without regard to political affiliations or beliefs for a term of two years by the Secretary as follows:
(A) Two members to be appointed from recommendations made by the City of St. Augustine, Florida, City Commission;
(B) Two members to be appointed from recommendations made by the City of St. Augustine Beach, Florida, City Commission;
(C) One member to be appointed from recommendations made by the City of Palatka, Florida and the Town of Hastings, Florida, City Commissions;
(D) Two members to be appointed from recommendations of the Board of County Commissioners of St. Johns County, State of Florida;
(E) Two members to be appointed from recommendations of the Governor of the State of Florida;
(F) Two members to be appointed from recommendations by the President of the University of Florida; and
(G) Two members to be designated by the Secretary.
(3) Chair; vacancies
The Secretary shall designate one member to be Chair. Any vacancy in the Commission shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made.
(4) Compensation and expenses
A member of the Commission shall serve without compensation as such. The Secretary is authorized to pay the expenses reasonably incurred by the Commission in carrying out its responsibilities upon vouchers signed by the Chair.
(5) Majority vote
The Commission established by this section shall act and advise by affirmative vote of a majority of the members thereof.
(6) Consultation of Secretary with Commission
The Secretary or his designee shall, from time to time, consult with the members of the Commission with respect to the plan required in subsection (f) and all matters relating to the creation and preservation of St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore and shall consult with the members with respect to carrying out the provisions of sections ____ of this title.
(7) Advice of Commission for commercial or industrial use permits and establishment of public use areas for recreational activities
No permit for the commercial or industrial use of property located within the seashore area of the park shall be issued by the Secretary, nor shall any public use area for recreational activity be established by the Secretary within the seashore area of the park, without the advice of the Commission.
(h) Authorization of appropriations
(1) In general
Except as provided in paragraph (2), there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out annual operations and maintenance with respect to the park and to carry out the activities under subsection (d) of this section.
In carrying out this section--
(A) not more than $35,000,000 may be appropriated for construction, restoration, and rehabilitation of visitor and interpretive facilities, and directional and visitor orientation signage;
(B) none of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this section may be used for construction of any new building on Avenida Menéndez across from the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. A central St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore Visitor Center shall be built in one or more historic or restored buildings along or adjacent to St. George Street; and
(C) not more than $2,000,000 annually of Federal funds may be used for interpretive and education programs pursuant to cooperative agreements under subsection (e)(2) of this section.
Section 3: Effective Date. This Act shall take effect within 30 days of the date of enactment.
Section 4: Severability Clause: In the event that any portion of this Act is held unenforceable, it shall be severed from the rest of this Act.
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