Wildflower Preserve Habitat Restoration Project Update.
Diversified Professional Services (DPS), Southwest Florida Water Management District’s prime contractor for the habitat restoration project at Wildflower Preserve, reports that work is progressing well.
In this recent aerial photo (looking east), preparation work on the future estuarine wetlands near Lemon Creek is visible, along with the new observation mound near Gasparilla Pines Boulevard.
One of the features of the new wetlands is an island that will be surrounded by deeper water to potentially attract nesting birds in future years. The project team noticed native buttonwood and marsh elder plants in a nearby area that will soon be added to the wetlands and an idea was developed to transplant the native shrubs to the new island site. To facilitate access, DPS left a temporary “land bridge” to the new island location.
Seven dedicated Lemon Bay Conservancy volunteers came out on a weekend morning to transplant over 85 plants to the new island site! With help from a DPS-supplied water pump, the volunteers have been returning daily to water the new plantings. The plants are currently looking “stressed”, but we hope that many will survive.
Over the next several weeks, project plans include developing additional wetland areas and scheduling professional planting of native wetland plants in the new locations.
It is exciting to see this major habitat restoration initiative moving ahead!
Wildflower Preserve is owned by Lemon Bay Conservancy. Funding for this major habitat restoration project is being provided by the Southwest Florida Water Management District and by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The District is also providing project management.
For more information on LBC, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 941-830-8922.