Rookery Bay Research Reserve hosts groundbreaking for Mangrove restoration project

The site for the Fruit Farm Creek Mangrove Restoration Project in the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve on Jan. 8, 2016.

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the city of Marco Island will host the groundbreaking of the Fruit Farm Creek Mangrove Restoration Project on San Marco Road between Goodland and Marco Island.

Considered one of the largest mangrove forest restorations in Florida history, the project will restore the hydraulic connection and tidal flow to 64 acres of dead mangroves and restore the health and vitality to 159 acres of damaged mangrove forest.

The project includes the installation of underground culverts beneath San Marco Road as well as the clearing of debris and sediment from two historic tidal channels. The successful restoration of this mangrove forest will serve as a model for similar efforts in South Florida, the Gulf of Mexico region and the Caribbean Islands. Planning and funds for this project were supported by the Florida Resilient Coastlines Program and from a grant awarded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Groundbreaking attendees will include project managers, partners and elected officials.  

  • What: Groundbreaking ceremony
  • When: 10 a.m., Friday, Sept. 24
  • Where: Project site on San Marco Rd., near Goodland