You Can Help Protect Charlotte Harbor's Coast
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Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities for Individuals or Groups
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Email Katherine Aug to coordinate a volunteer opportunity.
The Nature Conservancy is collaborating with Florida DEP- Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves and the City of Punta Gorda to launch an oyster reef restoration project adjacent to the Trabue Harborwalk.
Volunteers are needed to help with all aspects of this project:
- Fill bags with oyster shells (You must be able to lift 30 lbs. to make oyster bags.)
- Deploy the materials in the water
There’s something for everyone! Civic groups, schools, clubs, boating groups, recreational clubs, church groups – or anyone looking for a fun way to help restore the estuary are welcome to participate. Please email Katherine Aug, FDEP, to coordinate a volunteer opportunity.
It is the first oyster restoration project in the northern portion of the estuary and three methods will be tested here: oyster mats, oyster bags and loose shell secured by a perimeter of oyster bags. These materials will provide a foundation for oyster larvae to settle and grow.
The three-dimensional structure of an established oyster reef can help protect the project site’s mangrove shoreline from the future impacts of erosion and sea level rise and provide valuable habitat and food for other species such as fish, crab, shrimp, and birds. Oyster reefs have the potential to also benefit the juvenile stage of the endangered smalltooth sawfish, a species that relies on healthy red mangrove habitat for food and shelter in the Charlotte Harbor region. This project will add to the scientific understanding of how oyster reefs might also benefit sawfish.
Learn more about our work in the Gulf.
The Nature Conservancy in Partnership with:
Florida Department of Environmental Protection-Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves & Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park
City of Punta Gorda
Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Florida Gulf Coast University
Jaime Boswell MC, LLC
State and Federal permitting agencies
Funding & In-kind Donations from:
The Mosaic Company Foundation
Clamtastic Seafood Company, Inc.
Home Depot-Punta Gorda
Laishley Park Municipal Marina
Wm. F. McDonough Plumbing Inc.
A big thank you to our Outstanding Volunteers:
Boys and Girls Clubs of Charlotte County
Charlotte Harbor Parrothead Club
Crossroads AMI Kids
Edison State College
Friends of Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves
Grand Valley State University Alternative Breaks
Keller Williams Realty
Port Charlotte High School
Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association
Citizen Volunteers throughout the Charlotte Harbor area