Restoring a marshland expands habitat and recreational opportunities in Manatee County, Florida
Formerly disturbed farmland, the Robinson Preserve had the potential to be so much more. Community leaders had a new vision for the area—restore it to a natural state and create an oasis on the edge of suburbia for the community to enjoy and wildlife to thrive.
Our ecologists, landscape architects, and engineers helped Manatee County officials refine that vision. The next step? Restoring and creating native habitats for tidal estuarine fish, rare coastal upland forests, and a high functioning coastal wetland system, including saltmarsh and mangrove forests. The restoration efforts improved water quality and native habitats that support nesting for multiple protected bird species as well as spawning waters for snook and tarpon. On-site improvements included support facilities for an educational center, boardwalks, parking, restrooms, thematic playgrounds, kayak and paddle trails, kayak storage facilities, and signage. An opportunity was also seen to expand the Preserve into an area called the Freshwater Marsh, which had become overgrown with invasive plant species. We provided the ecological restoration services needed to help bring the marsh back to its natural state and expand habitat for native species in the area. Following this, we were awarded with a second project at the site which included planting over 10,000 bunchgrasses to help reduce erosion in problem areas surrounding the Freshwater Marsh.
Today, the community can enjoy an even larger Robinson Preserve with native plantings to support wildlife in a healthier aquatic ecosystem.
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