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YEAR 2007 - CRP Project #6001 (Gulf of Mexico)

Project #6001
Borrow Pit Transformation:
Re-planting a Newborn Lagoon

Manatee Co, Florida

Project name:   Borrow Pit Transformation: Re-planting a Newborn Lagoon  
Project number:   6001  
Project status:   Complete  
Grant Administrator:   Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)  
Grantee:   Manatee County Government  
Project location:   Robinson Preserve, Manatee Co, Florida  
Grant period:   Jan 1, 2021 - May 31, 2021  
Grant amount:   $26,470  
Land Ownership:   Robinson Preserve – Public  
Lat/Long:   27°30’40.52” N, 82°40’15.88” W  
Types of Habitat:   Salt Marsh, Tidal Lagoon, Mangrove  
Project leader:   Melissa Cain Nell
Volunteer/Education Coordinator
Conservation Lands Management Dept.
Manatee County Government
Bradenton, Florida 34206
Borrow Pit to be restored
BEFORE: Borrow pit to be restored

AFTER: Borrow pit being transformed into a lagoon
Species Benefiting From Restoration:
•   Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle)
•   Sand Cordgrass (Spartina bakeri)
•   Saltmeadow Cordgrass (Spartina patens)
•   Spikerush (Eleocharis calva)
•   Smooth Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora)
•   Rushes (Juncus sp.)
•   Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus)
•   Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
•   Roseate Spoonbill (Ajaia ajaia)
•   Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)

Acres of Habitat To be Restored: Approximately 8 acres

Project Summary:
Robinson Preserve is a 487-acre property currently undergoing a multi-million dollar restoration. A pre-existing borrow pit was expanded into a tidal lagoon, increasing its size fourfold, and is in need of replanting along its entire perimeter. Coastal salt marsh plants will be purchased and planted by community volunteers along the lagoon shore, and a length of the adjacent tidal canals, recreating marsh and mangrove habitat. Plant growth and natural recruitment will be monitored in order to judge the success of the project, manage exotic species invasion, and evaluate needs for future species inclusion. The project will also provide students and visitors with an opportunity to learn about the growth cycle of these plants by taking an active role in their care. A tidal plant nursery will serve as an outdoor classroom for this purpose and will provide a sustainable source of vegetation for future plantings. Curriculum, designed to interpret the shoreline habitat, will be developed and shared with local area teachers. Public workshops and tours will also be held in conjunction with this project, informing the community of the importance of this plant system and the wildlife that utilize it.

Project Objectives:
•   Re-plant and re-establish the shoreline marsh plant community for approximately 8 acres along a pre-existing borrow pit turned tidal lagoon.
•   Create a shoreline plant nursery to provide a source for future plantings with the assistance of Manatee County school children.
•   Provide educational programs (including workshops and tours) to inform visitors on the importance of the marsh and its plants.
•   Involve visitors in volunteer planting events.
•   Develop a sustainable growing program in conjunction with the nursery, actively engaging the community in assisting with plant care.
•   Monitor growth to ascertain restoration success and determine future species inclusion.
Community Involvement:
•   Workshops will be held to demonstrate planting techniques as well as on-site tours that first interpret and describe plant communities and then engage the community members in re-establishing them. These programs will enable the public to learn about plants and their purpose in the marsh ecosystem.
•   Nursery Program: A number of selected school groups will participate in an intensive hands-on growing program (one day per week as part of their science curriculum), which will become the County’s sustainable shoreline plant nursery. These students will have the opportunity to “adopt” plants and follow the growth of these plants from seed to juvenile and then take part in the relocation and planting of “their” plants.
•   Community Wide Plantings: Part of this proposal involves the purchase of large quantities of mature marsh plants which will be used in addition to the nursery plants, for a minimum of two community plantings. These events will draw from various community groups ranging from scout troops to senior organizations. All participants will be required to attend a workshop as described above.

Click on photo to enlarge

Robinson Preserve location map
Robinson Preserve location map

Volunteers replant former borrow pit

Kayaks used to get volunteers and plants to project site

Volunteer carries plants in kayak

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NOAA Restoration Center

Gulf of Mexico Foundation

Manatee County Conservation
Manatee County Conservation Lands Management Department

Sarasota Bay National Estuary Program (SBNEP)


Manatee County School Board


Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
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