Ducks Unlimited is partnering with Florida’s Jupiter Inlet District to restore an eroded red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) habitat, known as Mangrove Island, along the Loxahatchee River Central Embayment.
Red mangrove habitat serves a critical role to the ecology of the Loxahatchee River estuary. Mangroves provide important nursery grounds and physical habitat for a wide variety of vertebrates and invertebrates, including threatened and endangered species. Over the years, Mangrove Island has served as a bird rookery for species such as the brown pelican. Mangroves also benefit water quality and clarity by filtering pollutants and trapping sediments.
Construction of hard shoreline stabilization structures such as seawalls and revetments substantially reduced the area of mangrove habitat in the estuary, making it a key target for restoration. Mangrove Island is the only remaining mangrove island habitat in the Loxahatchee River Central embayment. Over the years, mosquito ditching, storm- and boat-induced waves and swift currents have eroded the shoreline and reduced mangrove habitat. Restoration and protection is critical to preserve this important resource. Restoration features will likely include construction of wave attenuation structures such as limestone breakwaters or sills, placement of clean sand fill and replanting red mangrove vegetation.
DU is partnering with the Jupiter Inlet District on the Moonshine Creek Oxbow Restoration Project along the Loxahatchee River near Jonathan Dickinson State Park (the location of a Ducks Unlimited NAWCA project). This project will restore a historic oxbow in the Wild and Scenic Segment of the Loxahatchee River through the filling of a man-made cut in the river to reestablish the original river channel. Successful implementation will result in improved water quality and improved salinity distribution along the northwest fork of the Loxahatchee River.