Port St. Joe, FL– For the better part of 2-centuries, the Cape San Blas Lighthouse has guided mariners to safe harbor but the lighthouse itself has been far from safe.
Hurricanes and tropical storms have inflicted damage, and beach erosion threatens to topple the historic landmark.
The U.S. Air Force actually owns the property and would like to see the lighthouse relocated inland, to Port St. Joe, which Mayor Mel Magidson is in favor of,
“It would be something that would be a benefit to both the city and the county because it would attract more visitors because people love lighthouses”.
However, some residents in South Gulf county like Julia Cunningham do not want the lighthouse moved off of the cape,
“If the City truly has the best interest of the Cape San Blas Lighthouse in mind then they would support the county retaining the lighthouse moving it 2 miles to Salinas Park to an accreting beach”
Magidson says the city’s plans would still make the lighthouse relevant, and it would not be out-of-place,
“Where we are proposing to put it is within 100 yards or less of St. Joe Bay so it’s still going to be on the coast its just not going to be on the Gulf.”
But Cunningham says the move would reduce the structure’s historical value,
“The people I speak to and all the people in South Gulf County where the lighthouse resides today would like to leave it here because the Cape San Blas Lighthouse, you’re taking away all the history if you move it to Port St. Joe.”