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NOAA CRP RESTORATION PROJECTS
YEAR 2008 - CRP Project #7005

Project #7005
Cessna/Mattie Kelly Parks Oyster Bay
and Salt Marsh Construction

Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Mattie Kelly Park - click to enlarge
Mattie Kelly Park

Project name:   Cessna/Mattie Kelly Parks Oyster Bay and Salt Marsh Construction  
Project number:   7005  
Project status:   In Progress  
Grant Administrator:   Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)  
Grantee:   Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance  
Project location:   Okaloosa/Walton, Destin/Santa Rosa Beach, Florida  
Grant period:   Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2020  
Grant amount:   $20,000  
Land Ownership:   Public  
Lat/Long:  
Types of Habitat:   Oyster reef, Estuarine Benthic, Salt Marsh  
Project leader:   Allison McDowell
Grant Coordinator
Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance
Okaloosa-Walton College
100 College Boulevard
Niceville, Florida 32578
www.basinalliance.org
 

Species Benefiting From Restoration:
   • Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica)
   • Mud crab (Panopeus herbstii)
   • Blue Crab (Callenectus sapidus)
   • Redfish (Sciaenops ocellatus)
   • Mullet (Mugil cephalus)
   • Black Needlerush (Juncus roemerianus)
   • Marsh Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora)
   • Shoal Grass (Halodule wrightii)

Acres of Habitat To be Restored:
Approximately 0.11 acres

Project Summary:
CBA, in partnership with the City of Destin and Walton County, will initiate Cessna/Mattie Kelly Parks Oyster Bar and Salt Marsh Construction — a community-based restoration project that will result in the creation of salt marsh habitat and fringing oyster bars at Cessna Park and Mattie Kelly Park. Cessna Park is a Walton County-owned park situated on the shore of Hogtown Bayou. Anthropogenic and storminduced destruction of salt marsh has led to severe shoreline erosion at Cessna Park. Similarly, disturbance of salt marsh vegetation and recent storm events have led to erosion of the shoreline at Destin’s Mattie Kelly Park, which is located at the mouth of Joe’s Bayou. Both parks are used extensively for fishing and recreational activities.
This project will construct oyster bars and plant salt marsh vegetation at these locations. The oyster bars will provide diverse food sources and foraging areas for a variety of fish (redfish, mullet) and crustacean (blue crab, mud crab) species. Oyster bars will also perform important ecological services, such as water filtration and bottom sediment stabilization, and the physical structure will act as a natural breakwater. The salt marsh plants provide further sediment stabilization and water filtration, and act as an important food source for detritivores. In addition, interpretive signage will be placed at the parks to provide continuing education.

Project Objectives:

  • Protect and restore estuarine native shoreline habitat in Choctawhatchee Bay.
  • Provide a framework for volunteer participation and education.
  • Provide for ongoing public education about estuarine habitat.
  • Monitor constructed habitat for success.

Community Involvement:
Community will be involved at every step of the construction. These hands-on, educational volunteer opportunities will be accompanied by educational training sessions. The monitoring will also be accomplished through volunteer efforts and will provide additional opportunities to educate the public. Finally, the interpretive signage will ensure that park patrons will be provided with valuable information on their important local resources.

PROJECT PHOTOS
Click on photo to enlarge

Shoreline erosion - click to enlarge
Shoreline erosion at Mattie Kelly Park

Shoreline erosion - click to enlarge
Shoreline erosion at Mattie Kelly Park

Shoreline erosion - click to enlarge
Shoreline erosion at Mattie Kelly Park

Project location map 1994 - click to enlarge
Project location map 1994

Project location map 2004 - click to enlarge
Project location map 2004

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PROJECT PARTNERS

NOAA Restoration Center

Gulf of Mexico Foundation

Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance

The City of Destin

Walton County

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
e-mail: info@gulfmex.org     website: gulfmex.org
webmaster: Carrie Robertson