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St. Lucie County Port Director Appointed as Chair of the Florida Ocean Alliance

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The Florida Ocean Alliance (The Alliance) welcomes new board chair Stanley “Stan” Payne, executive director of the Port of Fort Pierce. Payne was elected at the Alliance Board of Directors meeting in February.

“I am proud to be included in the leadership of such an important organization, particularly as a representative of Florida’s ports, which have remained steadfast in their environmental stewardship even as they have become economic engines of unprecedented growth,” Payne said.

Payne currently serves on the board of directors for the Florida Ports Council, the professional association of Florida’s 15 public seaports, providing advocacy, leadership and research on seaport-related issues before state and federal government. His areas of expertise include shipping and transportation, executive-level retail and distribution, and law. He has previously served as CEO of the Canaveral Port Authority and Deputy Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority during periods of transformation and growth.

After working for the past few years as a consultant to St. Lucie County on port and airport issues, Payne was hired as the director of the Port and Airport in St. Lucie County, shortly after the Board of County Commissioners purchased the King Maritime Terminal and a 10-percent interest in the 67-acre tract inside the Port of Fort Pierce, known as the Bell Property. One of 15 deep-water ports in the state, the Port of Fort Pierce is ideally situated on Florida’s east coast between Cape Canaveral and Miami with access from the Intercostal Waterway and the federally-maintained Fort Pierce Inlet, unencumbered by bridges or other obstacles.  The King Maritime Terminal features 1,200 feet of seaway, as well as more than 125,600-square-feet of warehouse space between the two buildings. St. Lucie County is focused on creating a public-private partnership to turn the terminal area into a working port focused on the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of mega-yachts.

St. Lucie County is wrapping up roughly $7.3 million worth of improvements to the streets leading into the Port area. These improvements, which include resurfaced roads, retention ponds, sidewalks and lighting, will increase the access in and around the Port of Fort Pierce for the public as well as the local businesses operating in the port area.

The Alliance is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to bringing together the private sector, academia, and nonprofit research organizations in Florida to protect and enhance Florida’s coastal and ocean resources for continued social and economic benefits. The Alliance serves as a clearinghouse for information on key ocean and coastal issues facing Florida. It monitors and publicizes actions related to the oceans and coasts. The Alliance focuses on outreach and educational activities for the public and policymakers, including conferences, papers on ocean and coastal policies, economic studies, and testimony to national or state agencies and commissions concerned with ocean or coastal policy. Each year the Alliance sponsors Florida Oceans Day in the State Capitol in Tallahassee.


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