Least Tern 900 X 450

Shorebird Nesting Restoration Project

Thanks to the wonderful donors from FSU's 2019 Great Give campaign, we have been able to partner with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program to restore shorebird nesting habitats.

Nesting habitat for shorebirds has become increasingly scarce in Franklin County and elsewhere along the Gulf coast. So when FWC proposed restoring an historic 0.25 acre area on the west side of the boat basin to secure nesting habitat for state-threatened least terns (Sternula antillarum) and black skimmers (Rynchops niger) -- high priority species within the South Atlantic Migratory Bird Initiative Conservation Plan --  we jumped at the chance. Not only will shorebird habitat be restored, but the FSUCML will maintain important foraging habitat for non-breeding water birds.

Hutchinson Design & Construction, Inc., of Apalachicola, FL, contracted to undertake the construction, started by removing whatever tall dense vegetation remained in the area after Hurricane Michael had done its bit. The vegetation not only made the area unsuitable for nesting but provided refuge for potential predators. Hutchinson then built a wall of logs from pine trees taken from FSUCML property (already slated for removal) to protect the restored area from erosive wave action while keeping the new nesting material -- a mix of 75% crushed oyster shell and 25% sand overlain over Geotile -- in place. 

We anticipate soon after the restoration is completed that there will be both citizen science and educational opportunities provided by the site, with kiosks explaining the importance of beach nesting birds and their habitat.  Keep your eyes open for announcements under Current Volunteer Opportunities.

Last Updated: Monday, May 18, 2020 at 4:44 PM