Florida Oceanographic Society gets Impact 100 Martin grant for coastal restoration
TCPalm's Luminaries and YourNews covers a grant of $25,500 from Impact 100 Martin to Florida Oceanographic for coastal restoration.
Florida Oceanographic Society has received a $25,500 grant from the Impact 100 Martin grant program to support greater environmental stewardship of the St. Lucie Estuary and the Indian River Lagoon through the Living Shorelines to Save Our Waters project.
This project will improve water quality, restore habitat, protect shorelines from erosion, and create living classrooms to educate students, homeowners and land managers about the value of healthy shorelines. Florida Oceanographic is proud to have been selected as one of three finalists in the grant competition in April 2019, following several rounds of voting and elimination.
The project seeks to bolster the water quality in the St. Lucie Estuary and the Indian River Lagoon, which has been heavily impacted by Lake Okeechobee discharges, algae blooms and runoff from urban and agricultural areas.
By integrating oyster reefs with salt marsh grasses and mangroves to create a “multi-layer” living shoreline, researchers can create habitat and improve the health of the estuaries. Florida Oceanographic has been restoring important aquatic habitats in local estuaries for more than 10 years and will use the funds from the Impact 100 Martin grant program to expand its capacity to construct these living shorelines.
Specifically, the grant will allow for Florida Oceanographic to collect more oyster shells from local restaurants and use the shells as the base to construct living shorelines at three sites in Martin County, one in the St. Lucie Estuary and two in the Indian River Lagoon.
These sites will benefit education, research and advocacy of local estuaries. One of the sites will be lat the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center and will serve as a living classroom for school groups and visitors.
These funds also will support one field trip to the Coastal Center and living shoreline site at no cost to the students or school. Based on the research and results of these living shorelines, Florida Oceanographic will provide recommendations to public land managers, interested homeowners and shoreline contractors. The proposed project will be completed over a two-year period.
“We are so grateful that the members of Impact 100 Martin recognize that Florida Oceanographic is making a difference for our coastal waters,” said Executive Director Mark Perry.