Saving the Mangroves on the Edge of Marco Island
There is a PLAN! We can rescue the dying mangrove forest on the edge of Marco Island!
What once was a lush, green stand of mangroves providing nursery habitat for fish and roosting and foraging spots for wading birds has become a muddy moonscape of leafless tree trunks. It looks like a nuclear bomb went off!
The die-off on both sides of SR-92 just west of Goodland has been decades in the making. The constuction of SR-92 in 1938 cut off the water flow into and out of the mangroves fed by Fruit Farm Creek. Heavy rains that came with Hurricane Andrew in 1992 flooded the forest. Too much water essentially drowns the forest by covering parts of the mangroves' root systems needed to deliver oxygen to the trees. Waterlogged soils lead to a building of toxins that causes a "rotten egg" smell that wafts through nearby neighborhoods.
The restoration plan involves building three (3) culverts beneath SR-92 and cutting new tidal channels into three areas of the forest where mangroves are dead or dying. The estimated cost: $600,000.
The Fruit Farm Creek mangroves are part of the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, which has been working with mangrove restoration expert, Robin Lewis, president of nonprofit Coastal Resources Group based in Salt Springs, FL and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Together, with a $50,000 grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, they have begun the design and engineering for the permit applications. Another $25,000 is needed to finish the permitting phase.
Project Leaders are hoping to win a $450,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to do the restoration work. The grant would require another $150,000 from other sources.
This is a problem we can solve. It is as easy as getting the water to go in and out with the tidal flows . . . Help us make it happen!!
We need your help! We can raise the $150,000.00 required if everyone can reach out in a small way.
Please make checks payable to Coastal Resources Group OR CRG and mail to:
Roy R. “Robin” Lewis III, PWS
Coastal Resources Group, Inc.
PO Box 30
Marco Island, Florida 34146
Questions/Comments Phone: 239.394.2000 OR Email the project director:
Roy R "Robin" Lewis III, PWS