Up Reef Ball Foundation Photo Gallery » Geographical Database for photos, videos, GPS Coordinates, news, and project descriptions. » Florida Reef Ball Projects and Photos » East Coast Counties on the Atlantic Ocean (Jacksonville to Key West Including Offshore Oculina Banks) » stlucie » North Causeway Island Reef Ball Projec

The county plans to use oyster-filled Reefballs over Enteromorpha at the North Causeway Island with the goal to producen a net gain in Essential Fish Habitat. St. Lucie County intends to put Reefballs in intertidal areas at the North Causeway Island and fill them to varying heights with oyster shell (to increase habitat variability). The algae surrounding the North Causeway shoreline has been positively identified as Enteromorpha, not Ulva. While Enteromorpha is not free-floating, it is held in place by a holdfast rather than a root. It is an opportunistic species used as an indicator of highly eutrophic waters. Because its holdfast does not extract nutrients from the sediments, Enteromorpha is capable of colonizing other surfaces (i.e. rocks, mangrove roots, wood). Placement of reefballs in the intertidal zone will be rapidly colonized by Enteromorpha, which is capable of withstanding tidal fluctuations, resulting in no net loss of the functions and values of the algal community. Placement of the reefballs, along with oyster shell, and possibly mangroves will not only add additional EFH, but stabilize sediments beyond the capability of Enteromorpha alone. The species richness developed in our test modules (mesh bags filled with oyster shell) will also contribute to ecosystem stability as oyster shell will be placed inside the reefballs. Live oysters have been observed growing on red mangrove prop roots in nearby areas. Reefballs will be used to test whether adding intertidal profile will enable colonization of oysters. The addition of a profiled substrate may also make measurement of vertical growth of oyster colonies easier to document. Location: St. Lucie County may be applying for permits to place Reefballs near the shoreline along the North Causeway Island (see oyster module location map -station 9) in Fort Pierce. There is a public finger pier in this area that was constructed by the County; we hope to apply to put Reefballs under this pier as well.

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