County to get millions for parks, boat ramps, shoreline

Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 14:26 PM.

The living shoreline technique will be employed along approximately one-third of a mile of shoreline and create approximately one acre of salt marsh habitat.

Another multi-million dollar chunk of money will go towards four regional projects in the Panhandle, and Franklin County figures into these in a big way.

A proposed $5.37 oyster cultch placement project would take place in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Bay, and Franklin counties, by placing cultch material for the settling of oyster larvae and oyster colonization in the three bays.

Apalachicola Bay would include placing 18,000 cubic yards of cultch material over a 90-acre area. Pensacola Bay and St. Andrews Bay would include placing 12,000 cubic yards of cultch material over 60 acres in each bay system.

The proposed $2.69 million Florida Seagrass Recovery Project will primarily be located in St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve in Gulf County, with potential additional sites in Alligator Harbor Aquatic Preserve and St. Andrews Aquatic Preserve in Bay County.

The first step of the project would be surveying and mapping the seagrass scarring in the three aquatic preserves. The next step would involve placement of sediment tubes across two acres of seagrass propeller scars. The final step would involve the placement of bird stakes in the project area to facilitate restoration.

Additionally, a boater outreach and education component of the project will install shallow seagrass area signage, update existing signage and buoys where applicable, and install educational signage and provide educational brochures about best practices for protecting seagrass habitats at popular boat ramps in St. Joseph Bay, Alligator Harbor, and St. Andrews Bay.

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