Project name: #2004 Milton Prop Scar Restoration
Project status: Complete
Grant Administrator: Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)
Florida Dept of Environmental Protection
Project location: Milton, Florida
Grant period: July 1, 2021 - July 31, 2021 (extended to June 30, 2021)
Grant amount: $43,571
Land Ownership: public
Lat/Long: Site in Ft. Pickens - 30.325' N, 87.327' W
Site in St. Andrews - 30.135' N, 85.724' W
Types of Habitat: sea grass beds, marsh wetlands and inter-tidal zone
Project leader: Ben Russell and Charlie Jabaly
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas (CAMA)
7255 Hwy. 90 East
Milton, FL 32583
(850) 983-5359 phone
(850) 983-5361 fax
Anticipated Species To Benefit From Restoration:
- turtle grass, Thallassia testudinum
- shoal grass, Halodule wrightii
- juvenile fish and invertebrates
Acres of Habitat To Be Restored:
800 square meters of sea grass beds (mostly turtle grass)
- Repair prop scar damage by transplanting plugs of
- Anticipate turtle grass to creep in after shoal
grass stabilizes scars.
- Reduce further damage to area through education.
- Raise public awareness.
- Transplant shoal grass into scars and install bird stakes for nutrients.
- Develop testing of methods for use with damaged sea grass beds elsewhere in Northwest Florida.
- Produce signs and video for educational outreach.
- Use photography and videography, including aerials
- Monitor surface area, density, survivors.
The Ft. Pickens and St. Andrews Aquatic Preserves have accumulated prop scars through the years,
mainly from recreational boating. Sea grass beds can
heal naturally but repeated scarring or strong
currents can enlarge the scars, resulting in the loss
of a larger patch.
Project will treat some of the damage, gain
information on which transplant techniques work best
in this area, and get scientifically valid data on
donor bed recovery, with all the knowledge to be used
in projects to help restore other areas.
The educational component will be designed to make
the public more environmentally informed, while
boaters will be made aware of the problem and be more
likely to exercise care in grassy areas, thereby
reducing future damage. In addition to presentations to groups,
project leaders will be producing videos -- one 30-minute video to be aired on local TV and one shorter one
-- to be played
in areas targeting local recreational boaters and tourists who rent watercraft. Signs and/or informational kiosks will be used at local boat ramps.
In the Ft. Pickens Aquatic Preserve, plugs of shoal
grass will be transplanted from donor beds to the scarred area. Bird stakes will be utilized
to increase available nutrients and so promote growth. In St. Andrews Bay bird stakes will be the primary treatment due to a lack of suitable donor sites.
Prop scars showing significant erosion may be filled to grade depending upon availability of suitable fill material.
Photography will be used extensively to keep a visual record of the project. Set camera points will be used for the duration of the project and underwater
stills and video will be taken. Aerial photographs will be taken before transplanting begins and after completion of the project, additional funding
will be sought after the grant ends to continue aerial photography of the site.