Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dr. Frederick Humphries unveils plan to establish a College of Marine Science in Apalachicola

Dr. Frederick S. Humphries

Dr. Frederick S. Humphries appeared before the Apalachicola Board of a City Commissioners at their regular scheduled monthly meeting held last night and outlined a proposal to establish a College of Marine Science in Apalachicola.  The college will be affiliated with Florida A&M University (FAMU) where Humphries served as President Emeritus from 1985 to 2001.

The college will offer Bachelors, Masters and Doctorates degrees in Marine Science, it will also offer extension service to the seafood industry from Tarpon Springs to Fort Walton Beach, as well conduct research on the Gulf of Mexico and the tributaries that feed the Gulf.

Humphries a native of Apalachicola said that such a college has been a vision of his for some time and asked city officials to support the effort and collaborate with him in bringing the endeavor to fruition. He pointed out that such a collaboration will maintain and restore the vitality of Apalachicola's natural resources, provide jobs and revitalize the community into a vibrant city that can be an enormous asset to the State of Florida.

The city is expected to commit a portion of its allocation of BP Restore Act Fine Funds to provide a facility to house the school or purchase the land necessary to build the school upon.  Humphries has his sight set on the old Ziegler property located between Dr. Frederick S. Humphries Street and 8th Street and Avenue's G and H, but stated, if the property is unavailable other locations will be considered.

City Commissioner Mitchell Bartley noted that the BP Fine Funds will flow through the Franklin County Board of County Commissioners and be under their control and discretion. Humphries told commissioners regardless of whether the city contributes any funds or not the school will be established in Apalachicola and that former state senator Al Lawson has identified potential state funding for the project.

Humphries asked that city administrator Betty Webb and another city appointee join him, Chauncey Ford and Cephus Rhodes to form a lobbying team to obtain an agreement from FAMU to pursue the School of Marine Science, as well as the support of the Governor and Florida Legislature. The city agreed and also motioned to submit the proposal as a project for funding through the Franklin County Restore Act Council.

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