The pending sale of Marineland Dolphin Adventure by for-profit Dolphin Discovery means the property, assessed at $5 million, would return $128,000 a year to Marineland, Flagler County and school board coffers.
The grants were part of the annual county tourism bureau’s funding round and are designed to enhance tourism and the visitor count in the county.
Marineland’s 75th anniversary celebrates past, present and future, highlighting the town’s continued ecological and cultural importance beyond dolphin adventures, which nevertheless play a large role in the town’s identity.
The federal National Scenic Byways grant was the largest of just three such awards in Florida, and will have a $140,000 match from Flagler County.
The twin proposals would result in three cottages at the Princess Place Preserve costing $390,000. and 10 cottages at River to Sea costing close to $1 million. Profits would be modest, but the county’s aim is to broaden the availability of nature tourism in Flagler.
The four people and a dog on the boat were on their way to a four- to six-month cruise to the Caribbean. A St. Augustine boat police patrolman responded to the distress call and rescued the sailors Wednesday.
David Kimmel, President of the Georgia Aquarium, the new owner of Marineland’s dolphin attraction, and others assess the future of the marriage between town and attraction.
The week brought rich sightings of right whales along the Flagler County coastline. But on Thursday, two seriously ill pilot whales beached in Marineland and died. Videos of both events from whale watcher Christine Sullivan.
The $9.1 million acquisition from Jim Jacoby–who bought the Marineland attraction in 2001 for $1.9 million–took place just before the New Year. It’ll be run as a non-profit, so Marineland as a town will lose a third of its tax revenue.
John Hankinson, chairman of Florida Audubon, has an environmental consulting office in Marineland and was the Southern Region’s EPA administrator during the Clinton administration.