Shoreline Buffer Zone Grant Projects
The community of Duck Key is an island community located in North Port off Pan American Blvd. south of U.S. 41 in the Myakka River watershed. The NEST group applied for grants from the Sarasota County Neighborhood Grant program and Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) in 2006-2007 to begin shoreline restoration projects on the two stormwater ponds within the community. The stormwater ponds were experiencing significant shoreline erosion and algae blooms at the time. The projects consisted of work sessions with volunteers working with a professional pond contractor to plant areas of the shoreline with native aquatic and emergent vegetation and trees. The plan was to do the pond shorelines in phases allowing the native plants to fill in along the shoreline over time. The NEST group also planted numerous butterfly gardens using native and Florida friendly plants on the upper shorelines to reduce the need for mowing and create wildlife habitat in and around the ponds. The reason for doing this community project was to provide shoreline stabilization, reduce future erosion and improves water quality within the ponds. It also provided homeowners a better understanding of the need for watershed management and demonstrated the positive impact an individual homeowner can have on the environment by following the principals of Florida-friendly landscaping, low impact design and the Sarasota County Fertilizer and Landscape management Code.
NEST Leader – Fred Koenig