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Establishing a Donor Marsh at Duke Energy

Calling all coastal habitat lovers!

Grass growing from an oyster bar off the coast of Cedar Key, Florida. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.We are gearing up for a great project that will make shoreline restoration and enhancement projects such as living shorelines much easier in the Nature Coast! We need volunteers to help us install starter plants that will form the basis for a donor marsh. Once established, this donor marsh will provide free marsh plants to restoration and living shorelines projects in Florida’s Big Bend. This will reduce pressure on natural marshes and decrease the cost of shoreline restoration and enhancement projects. This effort is possible thanks to the generous support from the Duke Energy Mariculture Center and the stewardship team.

Duke Energy’s Crystal River Environmental Stewardship and Mariculture Center is offering the University of Florida IFAS the opportunity to convert one of their one-acre ponds that was historically used for finfish culture to a donor salt marsh. Their advanced irrigation and pump system allows control of water and salinity levels and affords the ability to culture marsh grasses directly in the existing sand pond bottom. This is a rare opportunity that would only be possible through a partnership with private industry. But we need help to make it happen!

Donor Marsh Planting Event Details

A student plants marsh grass at a living shoreline site in Cedar KeyDates: March 24th (Sat) and April 13th (Fri). Planting will occur in the morning hours (9 AM to 12:30 PM) each day.

Location: Duke Energy Mariculture Center, 15485 W Power Line St, Crystal River, FL 34428

What: The work will be similar to gardening. Volunteers must wear proper attire (long sleeves and pants, closed-toe shoes, etc.), complete a safety briefing, and sign a release.

Who: Anyone 18 or older with an interest in coastal resources, gardening, or volunteering!

Sign Up: Please follow this link to sign up: https://www.volunteersignup.org/YAEHE. Advance signup is REQUIRED due to Duke Energy’s security requirements.

Contact: savanna.barry @ ufl.edu, office phone: 352-325-6080

 

 

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