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YEAR 2003 - CRP Project #2005 (Gulf of Mexico)

Project #2005
Tarpon Bay Hydrologic Restoration

Naples, Florida

Project name: #2005 Tarpon Bay Hydrologic Restoration
Project status: Complete
Grant Administrator: Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)
Grantee: Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Project location: Isles of Capri, Naples, Florida,
Grant period: Jan 1, 2021 - Dec 31, 2020 (extended to Aug 31, 2021)
Grant amount: $70,000
Land Ownership: Land that culverts and bridge will be built on is owned by Collier County Government. Restoration area is publicly owned.
Lat/Long: (central point) 28.74'583" N, 42.86'58" E
Types of Habitat: bays, seagrass, algal beds, mangroves, oyster bars
Project leader: Judy Haner, Cheryl Metzger and Amber Castillo
                         Florida Department of Environmental Protection
                         Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
                         300 Tower Road
                         Naples, FL 34113
                         (239) 417-6310 phone
                         (239) 417-6315 fax

First culvert nearly complete in December 2003.
PHOTO: Rookery Bay staff

Species Benefiting From Restoration:
  • West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)
  • Cobia (Rachycentrtron canadum)
  • Snook (Centropomus undecimalis)
  • snapper
  • pink shrimp
  • stone crab
  • red mangrove
  • shoal grass, turtle grass, manatee grass, algae

Building the culvert wall (left). Staff members Pam Keyes and Cheryl Metzger stand inside the new culvert (right).

Project Goals:
Install two culverts and one bridge to improve water quality and essential habitats by reestablishing the natural flushing between Tarpon and Johnson bays. This grant helped to fund installation of first culver, completed in April 2004.

Acres of Habitat Restored:
The entire scope of this large-scale restoration project involved about 360 acres of submerged lands populated by aquatic flora and mangrove plants which are primary habitat for juvenile fish species.

Description of Project:
Tarpon Bay Hydrologic Restoration Project was funded by the Gulf of Mexico Foundation in both 2003 and 2004. The overall project consists of two phases: Phase One is the hydrologic restoration of Tarpon Bay, which encompasses the construction of two large culverts and one small bridge. Phase Two is the construction of a public access site on land adjacent to Tarpon Bay.
The two Gulf of Mexico Foundation grants (#2005 last year and #3003 this year) were awarded to Phase One, the hydrologic restoration component. Grant #2005 ($70,000) helped fund construction of the first culvert, which was completed in April 2004. Grant #3003 ($51,000) will be combined with other funds (not yet obtained) to construct the second culvert.
The first culvert, which was constructed under a roadway with an interior measurement of 8-by-8 foot, allows water to flow between Tarpon Bay and Johnson Bay, which lie on either side of the Isle of Capri. As a result, this restoration of tidal flow is now helping to restore water quality.

History of Project:
The declining health of Tarpon Bay is due to the discontinuation of natural flushing between Tarpon Bay and Johnson Bay when four historically unabridged islands located west of SR 951 and north of Marco Island were connected. Filling in the gaps between the islands cut off direct routes between the bays and caused water quality to deteriorate.

Objective of Project:
The objective of the hydrologic restoration component (both culverts and the bridge) is to improve water quality within Tarpon Bay (360 acres submerged habitat). With just one culvert installed so far, it can be reasoned that there has been some improvement in water quality, although it is too soon to have conclusive data. To improve the water quality even further and eventually to the point of optimal water quality (within today's parameters), the construction of both culverts and the bridge is required.

For information on the continuation of this project in Year 2004, click here: CRP Project #3003.


Jan 1, 2021 - Marco Island Eagle: "Tarpon Bay project gets $70,000 boost"

Sept 17, 2021 - Marco Island Eagle: "Capri culvert installation now imminent after water line mishap"

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Click on photo to enlarge

Installing culvert sections at night

Public lands in SW Florida map

Historic aerial photo of Tarpon Bay

Aerial View of Tarpon & Johnson Bays showing historic tidal flows

Aerial view of Tarpon & Johnson Bays with first culvert installed and proposed second culvert and bridge.

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NOAA Restoration Center

Gulf of Mexico Foundation

Florida Dept of Environmental Protection

Friends of Rookery Bay

Isles of Capri Civic Association

Isles of Capri Fire Control District

Colper County

U.S. Fish and Wildpfe National Coastal Wetlands Program

Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU)

Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(800) 884-4175 toll free - (361) 882-3939 phone - (361) 882-1262 fax
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webmaster: Carrie Robertson