TREASURE ISLAND – The public is invited to join St. Petersburg College students when they plant sea oats Saturday, June 28, 8:30 a.m., to honor former State Sen. Dennis Jones.
The plantings will take place at Gulf Front Park, 10400 Gulf Blvd., in Treasure Island.
Jones was the inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award last year from the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College.
The institute, city of Treasure Island and the Treasure Island Beach Stewardship Committee are sponsoring the event.
The effort commemorates Jones’ 32 years of public service and his efforts to preserve the shorelines of Pinellas County and Florida. Jones earned the nickname “Sandman” for his work on the Florida Beach and Shore Preservation Act, which was consequently named for him.
In 1998, Jones helped create a fund for beach restoration and maintenance that receives about $20 million a year from state taxes. To date, this fund has contributed $541.6 million to beach restoration projects in cost-sharing efforts with local governments on local and federally authorized projects, resulting in the restoration of more than 226.7 miles, or nearly 57 percent of the state’s critically eroded beaches.