The following organizations have been awarded Five Star Restoration grants this year to implement wetland, riparian and coastal conservation initiatives:
Prichard Reading Park Stream Bank Restoration
Recipient: Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium
Five Star Funds: $22,955
To restore 350 feet of urban stream to its natural function by restoring aquatic and terrestrial habitat, which will reduce sediment loading, turbidity and nutrient enrichment in Eight Mile and Chickasaw Creeks in Prichard, Ala. This site will serve to showcase environmentally appropriate technologies for managing riparian buffer areas in an urban setting. It also will provide education, citizen involvement and capacity development opportunities to a grassroots citizens group as a pilot project for future community urban environmental efforts. Partners include the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium, Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, Mobile County Soil and Water Conservation District, Coastal Alabama Clean Water Partnership, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Prichard Environmental Restorative Keepers (PERK), City of Prichard, Mobile Baykeeper and Auburn University.
Restoring Stream Functions in Holland Creek
Recipient: Auburn University
Five Star Funds: $39,100
To stabilize stream banks along 500 feet of Holland Creek, an impaired stream near the mouth of the Chattahoochee River in Phenix City, Ala., where extreme erosion has increased turbidity, decreased water and habitat quality and exposed sewer infrastructure. In-stream structures will be installed to help redistribute flow, dissipate energy, reduce velocities that scour stream banks and create scour pools to increase habitat diversity. Invasive plants will be removed and sanitary sewer manholes relocated to minimize overflow events. This highly visible site will be used to foster citizen environmental stewardship through tours, workshops and training over the course of this two-year effort. Partners include Auburn University, Alabama Clean Water Partnership, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, City of Phenix City, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood Inc. and the Mill Creek Watershed Project.
Bayview Park Oyster Restoration
Recipient: Pensacola Escambia Clean Community Commission Inc.
Five Star Funds: $27,150
To collect approximately 80 tons of oyster shell from local partner restaurants for use as substrate in the restoration of 22 oyster reefs (0.02 acres) at Bayou Texar in the Pensacola, Fla., Bay System (PBS). Restoring these reefs will increase oyster populations; provide nursery and foraging grounds for finfish, shellfish and wading birds; and aid in filtration of storm water runoff into the bayou. The public will be engaged with shell collection, reef construction and monitoring, and the site will be used for community outreach and education. This project addresses three priority goals of the Northwest Florida Water Management District's PBS Surface Water Improvement and Management Program. Partners include Pensacola-Escambia Clean Community Commission, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, West Florida Regional Planning Council, Bayou Texar Foundation, City of Pensacola, University of Florida/IFAS Escambia County Extension, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program and local restaurants.
Urban Habitat Restoration
Recipient: The Atlanta Botanical Garden Inc.
Five Star Funds: $38,379
To restore a total of 10 acres across multiple sites in the metropolitan Atlanta area, including the Atlanta Botanical Garden, some DeKalb County parks and schools and the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Invasive species will be removed from wetland and riparian forests and replaced with non-invasive native species. This two-year project will incorporate multimedia educational outreach to involve citizens and educate the public about the adverse impacts of invasive species. Partners include The Atlanta Botanical Garden Inc., Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance, DeKalb County Natural Resource Management Office, Atlanta Audubon Society, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, National Wildlife Federation, Butterfly Conservation Initiative and Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Blue Heron Nature Preserve Invasive Removal & Education
Recipient: Blue Heron Nature Preserve Inc.
Five Star Funds: $12,500
To treat 7 acres of major invasive species on the Blue Heron Nature Preserve located in Fulton County, Ga. This project will eradicate the remaining privet, English ivy, wisteria, commercial lawn grasses, and other invasives, reducing them to a manageable level for a well-developed volunteer program to mechanically combat the re-emergence of these species. Signage will document the project and explain the role of native plants in the ecosystem and their relationship to other flora and fauna. Partners include Blue Heron Nature Preserve Inc., Oglethorpe University, Rock Springs Farm, Atlanta Audubon Society, Hands-On Atlanta, Team Buzz (Georgia Tech), Galloway School Environmental Club, Peachtree-Nancy Technical Advisory Committee and Girl Scout Troop 20319.
Crosby Arboretum Swamp Forest Educational Exhibit
Recipient: The Crosby Arboretum Foundation
Five Star Funds: $38,870
To restore 4.1 acres of a Small Stream Swamp Forest wetland in Picayune, Miss., for use as an exhibit and outdoor classroom to educate students and the public on the conservation needs and ecological values of this regional habitat type. Activities for this two-year project include providing public access to the exhibit and compatible recreational activities; conducting research and monitoring; propagating and planting species of concern; improving wildlife habitat; providing a primary filter to improve water quality and storage of off-site storm water; and supplying public education through interpretive trails, signage and guided tours. Partners include The Crosby Arboretum Foundation, Mississippi State University Extension Service, Crosby Arboretum, Mississippi State University Department of Landscape Architecture, Mississippi State University Department of Geosciences, Louisiana State University Department of Landscape Architecture, Mississippi Native Plant Society, Jones and Jones Landscape Architects of Seattle, Mississippi Master Gardeners, Mississippi 4-H Club and the Natural Resource Conservation Service.
Old Fort Bayou Connection
Recipient: Land Trust for the Coastal Mississippi Plain
Five Star Funds: $11,750
To restore 11.17 acres of coastal wetland and upland forest identified as the Hussey property on Old Fort Bayou in Ocean Springs, Miss. Project activities include cleaning the property of trash and debris; removing invasive species; replanting native species and building a half-mile foot path along an existing road bed. Partners include Land Trust for the Coastal Mississippi Plain, Boy Scout Troop 211, Hands On Mississippi, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Gulf Coast Heritage Trails Partnership and Coastal Preserves/Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.