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Marsh Restoration at Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve Quick Topics

St. Johns River Water Management District and the Volusia County Mosquito Control are partnering in the restoration of impacted coastal wetlands, particularly wetlands originally impounded or dragline ditched for mosquito control throughout the Mosquito Lagoon and other systems. These agencies have been involved in marsh restoration efforts for the past several years working from south to north in the Mosquito Lagoon basin. In 2008 they reached several impoundments and dragline ditches needing restoration within Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve (MLAP). The C-8 impoundment on the southern boundary of MLAP is currently being restored to historic marsh elevations.

Several studies have determined that upon restoration and reconnection to surrounding marshes, these impacted coastal wetlands are able to rapidly recruit native vegetation and the number of fish species that use the restored habitat will significantly and quickly increase. As tidal exchange was restored to one impounded area in the Indian River Lagoon, the cover of salt tolerant plants increased 1,056% in less than three years. Habitat use by fish after an impounded wetland was reconnected showed an increase to 40 fish species from the nine species present before reconnection of the wetlands to the lagoon. Ongoing research has led to the development of methods for reconnecting and managing impounded wetlands that allow a large degree of ecological recovery and sustainability while still providing for mosquito control.

Excavator

An amphibious bucket loader at work restoring wetlands.

 

 

 

Last updated: September 24, 2010

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