A long fight for a 'lost neighborhood'

The NWFL Daily News recently published an article about the long history of the flooding, ground water contamination issues, and neglect in the Sylvania Heights neighborhood. The article includes quotes from Okaloosa County DECF President John Yost, and DEC Chair Tracey Tapp.

Mr. Barry Gray reviews past studies of the Gap Creek Watershed

Since last year, Okaloosa Democrats been working with Mr. Barry Gray and other residents of the Sylvania Heights neighborhood to address the flooding issues from Gap Creek and pollution issues that have plagued their neighborhood for decades.

The Gap Creek watershed crosses through federal land, as well as unincorporated Okaloosa County and Fort Walton Beach. While the city and county governments seem willing improve stormwater drainage along the creek, they have failed to coordinate their efforts, navigate wetlands regulations, and fund the project.

In order to bring more public attention to the issue, on May 1st the Okaloosa Democratic Executive Committee (DEC) and the Okaloosa County Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida (DECF) hosted a tour of the Gap Creek watershed. The tour was conducted by Mr. Barry Gray, a long-time resident and leader in the Sylvania Heights neighborhood. Read more about that tour in our May newsletter.

While the NWF Daily News article is a nice start, we plan to continue supporting the neighborhood's efforts for as long as it takes for them to achieve environmental justice. Find out how you can join our efforts by contacting John Yost at