PENSACOLA BEACH, FL – November 9, 2012 – Aquatic Plants of Florida, Inc., an 18-year old habitat restoration company located in Sarasota, FL serving the Southeastern US and Caribbean, announced today it completed Florida’s first early restoration program, a result of the Deep Horizon Oil Spill that occurred on April 20, 2010. The project site is located on the Gulf of Mexico side of Pensacola Beach, Santa Rosa Island, in Escambia County, Florida.
The project was part of the $1 billion Natural Resources Damage Assessment early restoration program and encompasses 8.1 miles of the primary dune line extending from the entrance gate to Fort Pickens on the west end to marker R-150.9 (Park East) on the east end. The goal of the project is to restore the dunes along the Gulf side of Pensacola beach that were adversely affected by clean-up activities that were carried out along the beach because of the spill. The project is directed by the Florida Department of Environmental Projection (FDEP) and Escambia County’s Community and Environmental Bureau.
Aquatic Plants of Florida propagated and installed vegetation that includes about 500,000 Sea Oats, Panic Grass and other diversity species for the project. The restoration company also placed approximately 28,700 linear feet of turtle friendly, sand fencing and installed informational signage for the public. Aquatic Plants of Florida will continue to warranty the project’s success using FDEP criteria into mid 2013.
The restoration design seeks to preserve a valuable coastal ecosystem known for supporting diverse biota and helping mitigate storm surge, thus protecting upland development. The Pensacola restoration site must balance the growing needs of visitors, residents, and businesses while providing refuge to Florida’s native flora and wildlife such as nesting sea turtles, migrating wildfowl, and small mammals.