Case Studies

Restoration:natural vs. artifical

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Well-intended efforts at restoration can cause harm, as in the 2007-2008 destruction of seagrass in the Northeast corner of Roberts Bay as part of a "restoration" project. Restoration by nature rather than artificial or engineered restoration is taking place on Big Edwards Island.

Visitors to Big Edwards in recent years have noticed an expanding inter-tidal zone that includes robust mangroves and oyster flats. This natural restoration occurring on Big Edwards is much safer (and less costly) than mechanical approaches that threaten nearby seagrass and the highly productive and locally important fishery.

Letting nature continue its more than 50-year old evolution of Big Edwards Island is preferred by many members of the community as well because the Island's sloping shoreline and present configuration permits extensive use of the beach and upland shade by boaters and picnickers, as well as fishermen and kayaks. Leaving Big Edwards in nature's hands also allows scarce funds to concentrate on the more pressing needs in Roberts Bay identified by state officials and the EPA (as well as Sarasota's own experts), with Phillippi Creek first among them.

For more info on Big Edwards Island, click the link below (links to wiki page on Roberts Bay).


An edition of WaterAtlas.org
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