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Stepping Up for Shoreline Assistance
Projects in Florida, Bay Area, Canada

Stepping Up for Shoreline Assistance

Along the Gulf Coast in Southwest Florida, projects such as living shorelines, which often consist of oyster reefs, mangroves and sea grass, are being proposed to amend water quality, help control erosion and increase fish populations.

Programs that help protect local coastal areas are always striving for funding and new endeavors.

In Charlotte County, Florida, the Coastal and Heartland National Estuary Partnership, whose mission is to help keep the shorelines in Charlotte Harbor, as well as six other Southwest Florida estuaries in good health, has now expanded their undertakings to include the freshwater Caloosahatchee basin. This has brought them new partners, according to the organization's executive director Jennifer Hecker.

As reported by the Charlotte Sun, the program hopes to secure funding to create a new living shoreline along a seawall in Punta Gorda, a community inside the harbor. Recently its city council agreed to let the city apply for a National Coastal Resilience Grant that could deliver around $250,000 towards that goal.

The Bay Area town of San Rafael is hoping to restore lost wetlands and reinforce fortifications that help protect against rising sea levels. The project, headed up by Marin Audubon, received a $985,300 grant from the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority to conduct an environmental review and create a design.

According to the Marin Independent Journal, the Marin Audubon plans to expand the 20-acre Tiscornia Marsh, which they acquired over a decade ago, by up to 10 acres, along with raising levees and expending other erosion control measures.

And in Canada, the federal government has allotted $13 million to Ottawa's Coastal Restoration Fund to help restore habitats along Canada's shorelines. The Toronto Star relates that the money is the third installment and will help support 24 more projects on top of 40 already finished or in the works. These include "mitigating the impacts of infrastructure development on coastal ecosystems."

Federal Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson also announced a $5 million investment in nine new data collection projects in the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, B.C., in order to assess the impacts of shipping traffic and climate change on the coast.

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October 16, 2019, 1:04 am PDT

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