Environmental Team Spearheads Community Shore Restoration
Cape Canaveral, FL — An IAP Environmental Flight team has spearheaded an effort to stabilize and restore severely eroded shoreline areas at Florida’s MacDill AFB for more than a decade. Working with Tampa Bay Watch, the military, local agencies, and community groups, the final phase of the project is successfully nearing completion.
Utilizing a “living shoreline” phased-in approach, the community project has installed 8,036 marine-friendly concrete oyster domes and nearly 200 tons of fossilized oyster shell. This long-term effort has resulted in the creation of 35,000 square feet of oyster reef, resulting in the protection of 4,200 feet of shoreline thus far.
“The community-based project is unique because 100% of the materials used to create the oyster reefs are installed by volunteers,” said Jason Kirkpatrick, IAP Natural Resources Manager at MacDill AFB and the leader of the project. “To date, more than 1,140 volunteers, primarily service members but also civilians and local community volunteers, have participated in oyster reef construction. Once the oyster reefs are established, the area behind the reef is planted with marsh grass by students from local middle and high schools through Tampa Bay Watch’s Bay Grasses for Classes program.”
Funding for the project comes from a variety of sources including DoD, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, the Estuarine River Restoration Council/NOAA, Tampa Bay Estuary Program, and the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County.
The IAP Environmental Flight team organized six community reef building events during October, November, and December, and volunteer participation was at an all-time high with many volunteers coming back multiple times. Follow-up marsh grass planting events are scheduled in March and April 2014.
“Although construction work for the oyster reef shoreline stabilization program may be winding down, the oyster reefs that our fantastic volunteers created will continue to protect the shoreline and provide beneficial habitat for generations to come,” said Kirkpatrick.
IAP is a leading international contractor providing a broad spectrum of services and solutions to commercial industries, the U.S. and multi-national government agencies and organizations. A world-class leader in providing seasoned program management, IAP leverages and integrates its capabilities to provide safe, innovative, and reliable solutions to meet customers’ diverse and complex challenges.
IAP’s corporate headquarters is located in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and the company operates in over 120 locations worldwide. The Company also maintains corporate offices in Panama City, Fla., and Arlington, Va. For more information, visit IAP at www.iapws.com or www.youtube.com/user/IAPWorldwideServices.