Port Manatee Spoil Island

Coastal Habitat Restoration

Tampa Bay, Florida

Spoil Island, Pre-Restoration

The Port Manatee Spoil Island Restoration project was implemented to enhance, restore, and create wetland habitat to offset a portion of the wetland impacts associated with the expansion of Port Manatee, increase open habitat for suitable nesting shorebirds, and to enhance coastal strand and hammock areas to benefit neo-tropical migrants. The major components of the project included grading of the approximately 60 acre spoil island to establish ground nesting shore-bird habitat, create mangrove wetlands, and to enhance existing mangrove and coastal strand habitats.

In 2000, KECE began reviewing and finalizing a conceptual restoration plan for the island which was developed by Lewis Environmental Services, Inc., and the Florida Audubon Society as part of the Port Manatee expansion process. The final plan, developed by KECE, maintained the project goal and overall concepts of the conceptual plan with alterations to the implementation sequence, location of created habitats, and design details for improved incorporation of existing habitats to be restored, to improve overall tidal flushing, and to account for anticipated erosion and shoaling. The restoration was conducted in several phases over a period of 15 months including initial vegetative clearing and grading of the island; initial exotic/nuisance vegetation removal; installation of the gas pipeline; final restoration grading; follow-up exotic/nuisance vegetation maintenance; and restoration plantings.

Spoil Island, Post-Restoration

Vegetation monitoring documented the successful enhancement, restoration and creation of approximately 24 acres of coastal wetland habitat, and successful enhancement and/or establishment of the upland habits including beach nesting habitat, coastal strand, and tropical hammock. The spoil island restoration has also successfully provided habitat migratory avian species with over 60 species of birds observed by the National Audubon Society. Of these, eighteen were potentially utilizing the site as nesting habitat.

Services Provided

  • Site Assessment
  • Vegetation Mapping
  • Historic Aerial Photo Interpretation
  • Wetland Delineation
  • Listed Species Survey
  • Topography
  • Soils Map
  • Seagrass Bed Survey
  • Restoration Design
  • Manatee Protection Plan
  • Environmental Permitting
  • Construction Specifications
  • Selection of Contractors
  • Construction Oversight

Awards Received

Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s Future of the Region Award for the Environmental Category (2004)

American Association of Port Authorities Environmental Improvement Award (2004)

Photographic History: