JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will be available at Fort DeSoto Park, outside the visitors center, Tuesday, Sept. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to provide information and respond to questions about its Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study of the former Mullet Key Bombing and Gunnery Range. Preliminary work for the investigation begins this week and is expected to be completed in 2014.
The site that was formerly known as Mullet Key was reserved for military use in 1849, to ensure its availability for coastal defense. Although fortifications were constructed during the Spanish-American War, the site never saw combat. Mullet Key became a bombing and gunnery training range during World War II, where pilots and air crews practiced aerial attacks using machine guns, practice bombs and live bombs. Following the war, the military no longer needed the land and after it was cleaned up to then-applicable standards, it was sold to Pinellas County in 1948 and became Fort DeSoto Park.
On behalf of the Department of Defense, USACE manages the Defense Environmental Restoration Program for Formerly Used Defense Sites, using a thorough process required by law. In the interest of public safety, USACE will evaluate the site by conducting a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study to determine if anything remains from past military training and if so, where it is located and in what amounts. Once this information is analyzed, it is used to develop a recommended plan for addressing what, if anything, remains on the site. The plan will be shared for public review and comment.
Documents related to the Mullet Key Bombing and Gunnery Range are available at the St. Pete Beach Public Library, 365 73rd Avenue, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706. Questions may be referred to 866-279-4880 or FUDS.Florida@usace.army.mil.
Munitions may be dangerous and are not always easily recognizable. If you encounter potential munitions, follow the 3Rs of explosives safety: Recognize that the item you found may be munitions, and munitions are dangerous. Retreat from the area without touching or moving the object. Report the finding to local law enforcement immediately by dialing 9-1-1.
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Release no. 13-066