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Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program GPRA 2009 Report Summary by Habitat Category


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2009 Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program
NEP Habitat Category Acreage


2009 Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program Pie Chart showing NEP Habitat Category by Acreage

Total Acreage: 22,041.58


The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program NEP has protected and/or restored a total of 22,041.58 acres of habitat in 2009. The pie chart shows the proportion of acreage devoted to each habitat-type, including 67% for Wetland habitat, 24% for Riparian habitat, 6% for Barrier Island habitat, 3% for Upland habitat, and less than 1% each for Mangrove habitat, Pond habitat, and habitats categorized as Other.

The Table immediately below provides brief summary information about the protection and/or restoration projects completed and reported by the NEP in 2009.

Year 2009 Projects
Project Name Lead Implementer Project Description Habitat Type Acreage Linear Miles Linear Feet
Alva Cypress Preserve Restoration Lee County Recent restoration activiites focused on exotic invasive vegetation removal of Melaleuca, as well as roller chopping plametto to improve bird and wildlife habitat. Forested Wetland 40 0 0
Alva Scrub Preserve Restoration Lee County Pine tree thinning and roller chopping of palmetto was conducted to improve habitat for the Federally listed Florida scrub jays which reside on the Preserve. In the future prescribed burning and planting of scrub jay forage species are planned for the site. Agricultural Land 15 0 0
Bob Wigley Preserve Wetland Restoration Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation Recent restoration activities at the Bob Wigley Preserve focused on restoring the disturbed wetland by removal fil, recontouring the river edge, revoving exotic invasive vegetation and planting native wetland and upland vegetation. Riparian 26 0 0
Bowman's Beach Park Restoration City of Sanibel Recent restoration activities focused on removing hurricane impacted Australian pine debris with an excavator, burning debris piles, re-planting entire park in appropriate native species for each habitat with ~$450k in federal, state and local grants. This is a continuation of restoration activities that began in 2004 after Hurricane Charley and were completed in the spring of 2009. A variety of local, state and federal grants have supported the City of Sanibel's management efforts for this project. Barrier Island 171 0 0
Buck Creek Preserve Acquisition Charlotte County The Buck Creek Preserve was acquired through Conservaton Charlotte in August 2006 for preservation, rstoration and enhanced public acess to natural resources. In October 2008, Florida Communities Trust reimbursement Conservation Charlotte $3,400,000 towards the acquisition price of $8,400,000. Riparian 81 0 0
Buck Creek Preserve Restoraton Charlotte County Recent restoration activities at Buck Creek Preserve focussed on enhancement of native pine flatwoods through mechanical thinning of trees. Riparian 30 0 0
Buckingham Trails Preserve Acquisition Lee County The Buckingham Trails Preserve was purchased for preservation and acquisition by Lee County Conservation 2020 in November 2008. Future activities include field work to develop Land Stewardship Plan and determine public recreational opportunities. Agricultural Land 572 0 0
Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve Restoration Lee County Removal of exotic, invasive vegetation and animals and other wetland restoration activities in the 1290 acre Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve along the northern shoreline of the Caloosahatchee River and managed by Lee County Conservation 2020. Riparian 416 0 0
Carver Preserve Acquisition Lee County The Carver Preserve was acquired for preservation and restoration in September 2008. This large mangrove area connects to State and Calusa Land Trust conservation lands to the north. With this acquisition, the entire Big Jim Creek inlet is now protected by conservation land. The Calusa Land Trust will assist the County with management of the preserve. Tidal Wetland 189 0 0
Charlotte Harbor Buffer Preserve Restoration Lee County Habitat restoration activities during this past year focused on exotic vegetation removal of Melaleuca on the 31 acres acquired in 2008. Forested Wetland 31 0 0
Charlotte Harbor Harbor Preserve State Park Cape Haze Restoration Florida Department of Environmental Protection Recent restoration activities in the Cape Haze area of the Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park focused on prescribed burning (79 acres plus 10 acres wild fire) and roller chopping (160 acres), with assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program funding. Forested Wetland 249 0 0
Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park Alligator Creek Restoration Florida Department of Environmental Protection Recent restoration activities on the Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park Alligator Creek parcel focused on hydrologic restoration of 350 acres of saltmarsh, saltern and mangroves by backfilling over 35,000 linear feet of mosquito and drainage ditches. Tidal Wetland 350 0 35000
Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park Cape Coral Restoration Florida Department of Environmental Protection Recent restoration activities in the Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park Cape Coral parcel focused on exotic invasive vegetation removal, primarily Australian pines and Brazilian pepper, and endangerd species monitoring, supported by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Integrated Pest Mangement funds and Florida Parks Service in-kind staff match. Tidal Wetland 536 0 0
Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park Don Pedro Restoration Florida Department of Environmental Protection Recent restoration activities at the Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park Don Pedro parcel focused on hydrologic restoration, including removing fill and installing culverts and exotic invasive vegetation removal (10 acres). Also, public outreach included installing new signs regarding the value of wetlands and estuaries, as well as public wading programs. Funding was provided by the Gulf of Mexico Foundation ($56,000), the Barrier Island Parks Society ($5,000) with Florida Park Service ($56,000) and Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center ($500) in-kind staff match, plus many volunteer hours ($2,500). Tidal Wetland 32 0 0
Daniels Preserve at Spanish Creek Restoratin Lee County Recent restoration activities at Daniels Preserve at Spanish Creek focused on exotic invasive vegetation and animal removal - 36 wild hogs were trapped and removed during May - July 2009. Forested Wetland 10 0 0
Deep Creek Preserve Acquisition Charlotte County Deep Creek Preserve was acquired by Conservation Charlotte in November 2008 for preservation, restoration and enhanced public access to natural resources. Riparian 450 0 0
Deep Creek Preserve Restoration Charlotte County Recent restoration activities at Deep Creek Preserve forcused on enhancing native scrub jay habitat through prescribed fire. Riparian 40 0 0
Deep Lagoon Preserve Restoration Lee County Restoration projects at Deep Lagoon include removal of exotic invasive vegetation (Brazilian pepper, Australian pines and melaleuca) and hydrologic restoration of agricultural, mosquito and flood ditches on disturbed tidal swamp and marshes, wet prairies, prairie hammocks, mesic flatwoods and abandoned flower nursery agricultural fields. Riparian 82 0 0
Fishermen's Village Butterfly Garden Fishermen's Village Yacht Club This site in Punta Gorda is visited by residents and visitors alike. A butterfly garden approximately 20 x 50 feet in size will be created of native plant species. Signs will be installed and literature will be available to discuss butterfly gardening, emphasizing the need for host and nectar plants. Other 0.02 0 50
Four Mile Cove Ecological Park Restoration City of Cape Coral Recent restoration activities at Four Mile Cove Ecological Park focused on exotic invasive vegetation removal, especially Brazilian pepper. Tidal Wetland 20 0 0
Gasparilla Island Exotic Iguana Removal US Department of Agriculture The on-going Gasparilla Island Exotic Iguana removal program focuses on exotic invasive animal removal and removed over 4,000 Black Spiny-tailed Iguanas last year. Barrier Island 1,000 0 0
Halfway Creek Riparian Wetland Restoration Lee County Recent restoration activities at this site focused on restoring riparian tidal creek wetlands by relocating an existing public water main, regrading the creek channel to it's original location, shapping the creek banks, creatting a littoral shelf and adding native wetland vegetation. Riparian 0.5 0 0
Imperial Marsh Preserve Restoration Lee County Recent acivities on this on-going project focused on exotic invasive plant removal, primarily Melaleuca, and roller chopping areas with high prescribed fire fuel loads. Forested Wetland 284 0 0
Major Park Restoration City of Cape Coral Recent restoration activities at this park focused on removal of exotic, invasive vegetation, including Brazilian pepper (25 acres), cogan grass (7 acres) and Melaleuca (2 acres). Forest/Woodland 34 0 0
Myakka River State Park Habitat Restoration Florida Department of Environmental Protection Recent restoration activities in Myakka River State Park focused on exotic invasive animal removal (650 wild hogs)and exotic invasive plant removal, which included roller chopping (155 acres), tree-cut mowing (84 acres), prescribed burning (4,144 acres)and removal or treatment of cogon grass (73 acres), air potato (25 acres), Guinea Grass (9 acres), West Indian marsh grass (2.5 acres)and Old World climing fern, rosary pea, Brazilian, Casear's weed, Melaleuca, tropical soda apple, and wild taro (less than 1 acre each). Forested Wetland 4,564 0 0
Naturalization of a Retention Pond Unitarian Universalist Congrgation of Venice A large retention pond on the church property will be naturalized, bringing out its natural beauty that provides habitats for songbirds and other wildlife. This project will be a demonstration site with a walkway, benches, plant identification signs as well as information on the value of Florida-friendly plantings to reduce watering needs to create a green sanctuary and reduce fertilizer to improve water quality. A large retention pond on the church property will be naturalized, bringing out its natural beauty that provides habitats for songbirds and other wildlife. This project will be a demonstration site with a walkway, benches, plant identification signs. Pond 0.5 0 0
Oscar Scherer State Park Scrub Jay Habitat Restoration Florida Park Service With the $10,000 in grant funds from TNC,Oscar Scherer State Park was able to outsource the roller chopping of 124 acres of scrubby flatwoods from June through October 2008. Consisting of 8 burn zones throughout the park. These zones were also treated for exotics treating approximately 5 acres of cogon grass. The roller chopping of these areas allowed us to have the zones ready for prescribed fire. Five zones were burned within 6 months of treatment. With the remaining 3 zones, our top priorities for burning when burn conditions are within prescription. The initial results from roller chopping the scrubby flatwoods before burning compared to other mechanical treatments used in the past are very positive and continued monitoring will be necessary. In the past when burning after mechanical treatment such as brown tree cutter and gyro cutter in the scrubby flatwoods mulch was produced in the process that would burn slow and not completely. Roller chopping produces no mulch and arranges the fuel in a good state (once cured) for burning. Some initial findings after burning these areas after roller chopping are; more fuels available to burn, more bare sandy spots, easier to light a backing fire on and a much cleaner burn. Forest/Woodland 129 0 0
Pine Island Flatwoods Preserve Addition Lee County This parcel was acquired in December 2008 for preservation and retoration and adjoins to existing Conservation 2020 parcels making up the Pine Island Flatwoods Preserve. The parcel is co-managed with volunteers from the Calusa Land Trust. Forested Wetland 10 0 0
Pine Island Flatwoods Preserve Restoration Lee County Recent restoration focussed on exotic invasive vegetation removal, primarily of Melalueuca, thinning pine trees to prevent pine beetle spreading and prescribed burning of 53 acres. Future stewardship efforts will restore palm tree nursery into a pine flawoods plant community. Forested Wetland 53 0 0
Pop Ash Creek Preserve Restoration Lee County Recent habitat restoration activities focused on exotic invasive vegetation removal, including Melaleuca, cogon grass, Cesar weed, Australian pine, earleaf acacia and Brazilian pepper. Forested Wetland 10 0 0
Prairie Creek Preserve Acquisition Charlotte County Prairie Creek Preserve was acquired by Conservation Charlotte in August 2008 for preservation, restoration and inhanced public acess to natural resources. Riparian 1,603 0 0
Prairie Creek Preserve Restoration Charlotte County Recent restoration activities at Prairie Creek Preserve focused on exotic invasive vegetation removal, primarily of cogon grass. Riparian 5 0 0
Ramblers Rest Campground Exotic Vegetation Removal Myakka Wild and Scenic River Management Program This project consists of the Myakka Wild and Scenic River Program treating Brazilian pepper on this site for 2 years using chainsaws and cut stump herbicide applications. The pepper is chipped onsite once it is cut with Rambler’s Rest equipment. Additional Brazilian pepper was removed from this site during the month of March 2009. The project is expected to continue into the future. Riparian 2 0 0
Rotary Park Restoration City of Cape Coral Recent restoration activities at this park include exotic invasive vegetation removal, of primarily Brazilian pepper and lead tree. Tidal Wetland 5 0 0
Sanibel Dixie Beach Boulevard Mangrove Wetland Restoration City of Sanibel Recent restoration activities at this site focused on restoring tidal exchange to the mangroves east of Dixie Beach Boulevard by adding more culverts under the roadway. Mangrove 80 0 0
Sanibel River Restoration City of Sanibel Recent restoration activities for the Sanibel River focused on removal of detritus, dead branches and exotic vegetation (primarily cattails) that restrictive natural flow of the river. Riparian 74 0 0
Sarasota County Environmentally Sensitive Lands Restoration Sarasota County Recent restoration activities on Sarasota County Environmentally Sensitive Lands focused on prescribed fire (3,470 acres on Carlton Reserve, Pinelands Reserve, South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve and Deer Prairie Creek Preserve), thinning Florida slash pine (3,873 acres on Carlton Reserve, Pinelands Reservere,Jordyn, Knight Trail Park and Venice Minerals parcels); and treatment of exotic invasive vegetation (325 acres of Brazilian pepper, cogon grass, West Indian marsh grass and climbing fern). Forested Wetland 7,768 0 0
Sea Oats Restoration Project City of Sanibel Recent restoration activities at this site focused on removing fill and debris from the former sewage package plant that was bult in the wetlands, removed exotic invasive vegetation, especially Australian pines, restored freshwater fish refugia ponds, and replanted native wetland and upland plants where apprpriate. Barrier Island 25 0 0
Shell Creek Preserve Acquisition Charlotte County Shell Creek Preserve was acquired by Conservation Charlotte in April 2008 for preservation, restoration and enhanced public access to natural resources. Riparian 370 0 0
Shell Creek Preserve Restoration Charlotte County Recent restoration activities at Shell Creek Preserve focused on enhancing native habitats through prescribed fire. Riparian 120 0 0
Shoreline Stabilization and Habitat Enhancement in the Mullock Creek Basin Lee County This demonstration project is part of a larger effort to improve the entire stormwater drainage system of the East Mullock Drainage District in San Carlos Park, Lee County. The project includes removing invasive exotic plants, such as Melaleuca and Brazilian pepper, along 160 linear feet by a canal, placing a shoreline stabilization product known as Shoresox along the steep incline and installing native plants in the 15 foot buffer between private residences and the canal. Riparian 0.06 0 160
Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve Addition Lee County This project is a new acquisition for preservation and restoration of cypress and other wetlands adjacent to the existing preserve. Forested Wetland 19 0 0
Smokehouse Bay Preserve Restoration Lee County The purpose of the "Smokehouse Bay Preserve Restoration" project is to restore hydrology and native vegetation within the Smokehouse Bay Preserve, a Lee County Conservation 2020 parcel located in Lee County on northern Pine Island, adjacent to Matlacha Pass. This project will restore hydrology and native vegetation on 51 of those preserve’s 268 acres. The western portion of the preserve consists of an abandoned palm grove which slopes to mangrove swamp and Smokehouse Bay. Although much of the preserve consists of relatively intact native vegetation communities, the abandoned palm grove contains ditches and furrows. Non-indigenous invasive vegetation occurs both in the abandoned grove and within the adjacent mangrove swamp. The three phases of the project are: re-grading of the ditches and furrows to a more natural slope, treating non-indigenous invasive vegetation scattered throughout the abandoned palm grove, and planting of native plants (based on soil and historic aerials). A contractor will be hired to grade the site after an Environmental Resource Permit has been issued. Once graded, native plants will be purchased and installed by Lee County staff and volunteers from groups such as the Calusa Land Trust, Florida Gulf Coast University and from the Lee County Parks and Recreation volunteer pool. Category I and II exotic plant species on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council’s 2005 List of Invasive Species will be treated with an appropriate herbicide by cut stump, girdling, basal bark, or foliar treatments. It is most cost effective to treat these small scattered plants before they reach large sizes which have more ecological damage and are more costly to remove. Additional exotic plant treatments will continue over time, both on the abandoned palm grove and the mangrove swamp to the east. Tidal Wetland 51 0 0
Telegraph Creek Preserve Acquisition Lee County This is a new acquisition for preservation and restoration of riparian freshwater wetlands. Riparian 1,726 0 0
Thorton Key Preserve Acquisition Charlotte County Thorton Key Preserve was acquired by Conservation Charlotte in December 2008 for preservation, restoration and enhanced public access to natural resources. Barrier Island 31 0 0
Thorton Key Preserve Restoration Charlotte County Recent restoration activities at Thorton Key Preserve focused on exotic invasive vegetation removal, primarily of Brazilian Pepper. Barrier Island 5 0 0
Venice Campground Exotic Vegetation Removal Myakka River Wild and Scenic River Management Program The Myakka Wild and Scenic River Program has been treating Brazilian pepper on this site for over two years through basal bark and girdling herbicide applications. 5.5 acres at this site was retreated once during the time period of October 2008 through September 2009 - in the month of April 2009. No native vegetation has been replanted in the areas where Brazilian pepper has been removed, as the native vegitation recuits well on its own. Treatment of exotic invasive vegetation will continue next until completed in 2011. Riparian 5.5 0 0
West Marsh Preserve Acquisition Lee County This is a new acquisition that will be used for preservation and restoation of native habitats, as well as storm water treatment for surface water before it reaches the Orange River and the Caloosahatchee River. Riparian 206 0 0
Wild Turkey Strand Restoration Lee County Wild Turkey Strand Preserve is a 2,629 acre environmental preserve in the Estero Bay watershed purchased by Lee County Conservation 20/20 program in 2003 for its environmental qualities. The land is dominated by cypress, wet and mesic flatwoods, and freshwater marshes. This project will allow treatment of non-indigenous invasive plants from approximately 348 acres and restore emergency fire lines created by the Florida Division of Forestry during a 2007 fire. The plants include melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia), Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), wetland nightshade (Solanum tampicense), Caesar’s weed (Urena lobata), West Indian marsh grass (Hymenachne amplexicaulis) and torpedo grass (Panicum repens). This restoration will prevent the invasive plants from spreading into the healthy, intact native plant communities. Forested Wetland 455 0 0
Yucca Pens Preserve Restoration Lee County Recent restoration activities focused on exotic invasive vegetation removal, primarily of Melaleuca. Future plans include prescribed burns within fire dependant plant communities Forested Wetland 66 0 0
Total 22041.58 0 35210

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