The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity recently awarded a grant for the development of the St. Johns River to Sea Loop Strategic Plan and Eco-Tourism Resources to the East Central Florida RPC. The project is a collaborative effort with the Northeast Florida RC and the St Johns River-to-Sea Loop Alliance. Additional collaborative partners include the five counties and several cities along the trail. To promote eco-tourism opportunities, partners along the Loop are creating a brand and marketing strategies and identifying collaboration opportunities. Through the inclusion of opportunity maps and a resource directory, the Strategic Plan will promote economic development and identify eco-tourism opportunities along the River-to-Sea Loop. A Locally Resourceful Trail Oriented Development Case Study will be produced.
The story maps and resource directory are intended to attract trail visitors to destinations along the trail and market private businesses as well as municipal and county resources. A case study on the Agritourism Corridor through Putnam, Flagler and St Johns Counties will transfer lessons learned, knowledge and implementation strategies along the trail, fueling other trail oriented economic development opportunities.
Stakeholder input is of utmost importance and three stakeholder meetings/webinars will be held throughout the process. This will include outreach to review documents, maps and data to ensure accuracy as well as support and inclusiveness of the project deliverables and the future of the Loop.