estuary restoration

Dredge Bill Holman works for Army Corps of Engineers at McAlpine Locks, Louisville, Ky.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Environmental – sustainable use, stewardship, and restoration of natural resources across the U.S. and, through the international reach of its support missions.

Estuary Restoration Projects – examples of work include

  • Alligator Creek Addition Restoration Project, Charlotte County, FL
  • Indian River Lagoon, Brevard and Indian River Counties, FL
  • Banana River Estuary Restoration Project, Cape Canaveral, Brevard County, FL
  • St. Lucie River Oyster Reef Habitat Restoration Project, FL (NOAA funded)

Runoff (video 10:13) – Walk the banks of the Charles River in Boston to see how engineers prevent pollution from entering our waterways.

What’s the problem?
Indian River Lagoon Estuary Restoration – located in Brevard and Indian River Counties, FL. The project will restore 47.5 acres of estuarine habitat in the Indian River Lagoon by removing invasive species, such as Brazilian pepper, and planting red and white mangroves. Invasive species will be removed using the basal bark and cut stump method. Once the invasive species are removed, 4,500 smaller red mangroves and 300 large red and white mangroves will be planted. The larger mangroves will be established within 30 to 90 days and will immediately provide habitat for aquatic species and birds.

The Indian River Lagoon is one of the most diverse estuaries in North America. It is the home of more protected species than any estuary in the U.S. The restored area will support over 50 rare, threatened or endangered species including the West Indian manatee, the Florida scrub jay, Johnson seagrass, and seven species of fish. The mangroves will reduce erosion, filter runoff, and improve water quality. They will also help reduce wave and wind energy.

  • Ask – How big is this project? What work needs to be done? Why? What will be the results and benefits of this project?
  • Imagine – What are some options for restoring the Indian River Lagoon? How can the invasive species be removed? What needs to be put in the place of the plants that have been removed? How will this restore the lagoon?
  • Design, Build – What method of removal is planned? How does this work? Once the invasive species are removed, what will replace them? Why is this an appropriate choice?
  • Improve – Is there a better way to keep the invasive species out? Are there other ways to sustain the estuary naturally?

That’s engineering

  • Wind erosion, also known as eolian erosion is the movement of rock and/or sediment by the wind. Windbreaks can be planted to reduce wind erosion. This includes the planting of trees, shrubs, or other vegetation, usually perpendicular to the principal wind direction.
  • sedimentary – formed by the deposit of minerals or organic matter by air, water or ice
  • aquatic – growing or living in or near water

Engineering ideas

  • erosion, runoff, water quality, wave energy, wind energy

Do It
Challenges for you to work on…

  • How do mangroves reduce erosion, filter runoff, and improve water quality? What are some man-made systems that provide this capabilities?