Weedon Island Preserve Restoration
Pinellas County, Florida
WRA was the prime engineering firm for design and permitting of an innovative hydrologic restoration project in Pinellas County, FL. The project was a public-private partnership between Canterbury School and Pinellas County using the County park and coastal preserve at Weedon Island. The wetlands in the preserve had been altered by historic ditching for mosquito control, which had left numerous fragmented spoil piles, berms and open channels dispersed throughout the 15 acre site. The ditching had interrupted the historic tidal flow and the spoil had been heavily colonized by exotic species. This practice had eliminated the historic high marsh / salt barren habitat at the site.
The dispersed ditching posed significant logistical challenges for restoration. Heavy equipment use was not viable due to the possibility of adverse impacts to an established forested wetland. To address the fragmentation of the spoil and ditches in the wetland, WRA successfully permitted the use of hydro-blasting technology to restore the salt barrens. The hydro-blasting used a high pressure water hose and portable pump system to move the spoil back into the ditches where it had been historically excavated. After the reshaping and contouring was complete, remaining exotic species still rooted in the wetland were treated.
The technology involved with the project required considerable facilitation and negotiation with regulatory agencies, the contractor, and the partners to achieve the required approvals. Construction costs of $50,000 were negotiated with the contractor who originated the hydroblasting technology, as this firm was the only qualified contractor willing to bid using this technology. Construction has been completed and accepted by the regulatory agencies. WRA is currently monitoring the site to evaluate the long term success of the method.
- Wetland Assessment and Restoration Design
- Hydraulic Analysis
- Permit Facilitation
- Construction Management
- Biological Monitoring
- Contractor Procurement
- Contractor Bid Assessment