This regionally significant coastal habitat restoration project converted fallow farm fields and abandoned mining pits into functional ecosystems by creating more than 1,043 acres of ecotones ranging from hard bottom communities and seagrass areas to fringing upland communities interspersed with isolated freshwater ponds.

Why does this project matter?

This 2,572-acre parcel provides critical habitat to a myriad of species through restoration of a mosaic of habitats, which not only provides immediate refuge for State and Federally listed/imperiled species, but also enhances coastal resiliency as it provides buffer lands to allow the natural mitigation of ecotones in response to sea-level rise.

What is ESA doing to help?

Our restoration ecologists canvassed the entire site to formulate an overall ecosystem scale restoration plan. This included securing all necessary regulatory permits and producing the associated engineering plans and bid specifications to implement the $10 million project. During the two-year construction period, our scientists provided construction environmental inspection (CEI) services, fine-tuning the construction process by adding in important micro-topographic features and artificial reef material.

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"This is the future of the state of Florida, the United States, and the world for that matter. People have to make an emotional connection for them to want to maintain and preserve these ecosystems."

Brandt Henningsen, Ph.D., Chief Advisory Environmental Scientist

Southwest Florida Water Management District

Details

Client Southwest Florida Management District

Location Hillsborough County, FL

Notable

Largest habitat restoration effort ever completed in the history of Tampa Bay’s restoration efforts (2,572 acres)

 

More than 1,043 acres of coastal habitat was created

 

2017 Environmental Project of the Year, Future of the Region Awards, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council

 

2017 First Place in the Excellence in Planning, Design and Execution category, Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission

 

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