CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (CSA) was contracted by the Village of Key Biscayne (VKB) to develop and implement a seagrass restoration and mitigation plan to satisfy the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) special conditions requiring seagrass mitigation requirements to offset authorized and unauthorized impacts to seagrass from beach nourishment projects. CSA conducted hydrographic surveys using shallow water hydrographic survey systems and telemetry to identify and map over 2 acres of seagrass injuries and blowholes for potential restoration, and to locate donor seagrass beds.
To date, CSA has directly restored over 1.0 acre of seagrass injuries using structural augmentation (sediment addition), seagrass planting, and fertilization (bird stake placement to encourage natural seagrass in-growth) techniques. CSA obtained the necessary State and Federal authorizations, designed the mitigation approaches, and developed the mitigation and monitoring plans for approval by the regulatory oversight agencies. The standard methodologies were developed by Florida researchers and practitioners and are published in the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Seagrass Restoration in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). It is anticipated that the indirect benefits to the seagrass habitat cover a much greater acreage and will continue to provide critical ecological services in perpetuity, in absence of further impacts.
CSA has performed monitoring surveys of the seagrass planting sites since 2008 as part of a 5-year monitoring program. CSA has performed this work in a timely, cost-effective fashion and has received highly positive feedback from the VKB with regard to our performance.