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Resource Management at North Fork St. Lucie River Aquatic Preserve Quick Topics

The North Fork St. Lucie River was artificially straightened by US Army Corps of Engineers and North St. Lucie Water Control District in the early 1900s to provide flood control and improve navigation. During this process, original riverbends and adjacent wetlands were isolated from the river as the banks of the newly channelized area were lined with large dredge spoil deposits. Erosion of the banks along the shoreline increased turbidity in the preserve while isolation of floodplain habitat and oxbows dramatically decreased the residence time of water within the North Fork. Reduced residence time ultimately decreased the amount of nutrient absorption and settlement of suspended solids before the water reached seagrass and oyster reef habitat in the southern section of the preserve and the Middle Estuary.

Shoreline erosion

Shoreline erosion

The Resource Management Program currently focuses on information dissemination, group coordination and ecosystem restoration.

  • Hydrologic Restoration
    Hydrologic restoration projects, such as oxbow and floodplain reconnections, have been shown to improve water quality and habitat for native species.

  • Shoreline Restoration
    Shoreline restoration has been a part of the hydrologic restoration projects in North Fork St. Lucie Aquatic Preserve.

  • Land Acquisition
    Acquisition of adjacent helps protect the natural resources of the preserve. Prioritization of desired parcels is still needed.
  • Muck Removal
    Although removal of large muck deposits from the SLR would be favorable, several monetary and environmental concerns have slowed the process. Three pilot muck removal projects have provided answers to many issues. However, the process will be expensive, and cost-effective beneficial uses of St. Lucie muck sediments remain to be identified.

  • Oyster Reef Restoration
    Preserve staff support the oyster reef restoration projects by Florida Oceanographic Society, Martin County and St. Lucie County.









Last updated: April 06, 2015

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