Gulf Guardian Award Winners 2006
Business Category - 2nd Place
The Port Manatee Ecosystem Improvement project, constructed from 2000 to 2003 involved earthwork, construction, planting and management of restoration of an island for bird habitat, creation of tidal creeks, and restoration of over 30 acres of seagrass habitat and protection of another 300 acres. This project involved the Manatee County Port Authority, Gulfstream Natural Gas System, Gee and Jenson, Audubon of Florida, Lewis Environmental Service, Environmental Affairs Consultants and many other businesses and organizations. This project converted a 60-acre island, infested with invasive vegetation, into a heavily-used seabird nesting area, protected hundreds of acres of valuable seagrass habitat from prop scarring, and restored and created extensive areas of new seagrass, creek and wetland habitats. The project has created extensive nesting communities, over 15 acres more seagrass than before the port expansion and hundreds of acres of new and better-protected habitat including over 20 acres of new productive and very popular redfish flats.