Mangroves Planted in Florida State Park for Post-Hurricane Restoration Project

Volunteers plant mangroves at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park in Naples, Florida

(Credit: Duke Energy)

by | Jan 9, 2024

This article is included in these additional categories:

Duke Energy, Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) Florida, and Lee County Electric Cooperative recently partnered to lead a restoration project at Delnor-Wiggins State Park in Naples, planting 500 mangrove trees to support coastal ecosystems.

During the project, more than 25 volunteers planted red and black mangrove trees, grown and donated by Duke Energy Crystal River Mariculture Center and CCA, across a 4,400 square-foot span of the park. The project was conducted to restore the mangrove ecosystem in the area, which is known to help reduce coastal erosion, improve water quality, sequester carbon, and provide crucial habitats for fish and wildlife. The restoration was organized in response to damages caused by Hurricane Ian in September 2022.

Aside from these restoration efforts, the Crystal River Mariculture Center has also been working to rebuild and maintain Florida’s fish populations for over 30 years. The center began as an environmental compliance requirement for Duke Energy, but was kept in operation through partnerships with local nonprofits, universities, and state agencies, including CCA Florida.

“The work that is being done today by Eric and the team at the Mariculture Center will have an incredible, lasting impact on Florida’s coastal estuaries,” said Brian Gorski, executive director of CCA Florida. “Florida’s fisheries would drastically decline without healthy mangrove populations and we thank Duke Energy for their unwavering commitment to the conservation of Florida’s marine resources.”

The Mariculture Center has reportedly released around 5 million fish and crustaceans along Florida’s coasts and has provided financial backing for a number of habitat restoration projects in the state.

Nature-Based Coastal Infrastructure Projects Combat Extreme Weather, Store Carbon

Several states have turned to nature-based solutions to protect their coasts, especially as climate change-caused extreme weather and sea level rise threaten coastal communities.

At the end of 2023, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced $144 million in grants for natural infrastructure projects that will support United States coasts. Many of the projects feature nature-based solutions designed to benefit wildlife populations while protecting human residents from flooding, also adding to food supplies in some areas.

Restoration projects are also being used as a tool for sequestering carbon while supporting natural habitats. For example, Georgia Southern University has been working with Yamaha Rightwaters to explore the carbon burial potential of oyster beds on the Georgia coast. The project may supply habitats for ocean wildlife and reduce ocean acidification, all while offering a potential site for carbon storage.

Additional articles you will be interested in.

Stay Informed

Get E+E Leader Articles delivered via Newsletter right to your inbox!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Share This