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July 2023 Webinar – A Broad Scale 2,500 Acre Wetland Habitat Restoration Project in South Florida

July 20, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm CDT


Monthly webinars are offered as a benefit of membership. Once each quarter, in March, July, September, and December, the monthly SWS webinar is open for non-members to attend (and at no cost), as well.

Avenir is a mixed-use development in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The parent property was comprised of 4,763 +/- acres of highly altered lands, ditched and drained to support various agricultural uses for over 50 years. Over 50% of the property (2,400 +/- acres) was set aside for habitat restoration, wetland mitigation, and conservation. This webinar focuses on the approach, design, and implementation of the native habitat restoration and conservation elements of the project.

From a regional perspective, the Avenir habitat restoration project is uniquely situated in the broader landscape such that the benefits to the regional ecology are much greater than the sum of its parts. The parent property was the only remaining privately owned parcel in a regional continuum of publicly owned and managed conservation properties extending from Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic Ocean. For over 40 years prior to the Avenir project, the parent property was the subject of multiple conservation acquisition efforts by local, state, and federal entities. This “missing link” in the regional ecology now functions as a wildlife corridor connection, an enhancement to water storage and water quality for the Northern Everglades system, and renewed habitat for a diverse assemblage of wildlife including several species listed as threatened or endangered. Of significant importance is the fact that this has been achieved without expenditure of public funds for acquisition, restoration, and long-term management.

We will describe the base conditions, habitat restoration techniques, successes, and learning experiences in this ongoing project. A combination of invasive species eradication and hydrologic restoration actions will be discussed along with the adaptive management approaches developed as the project has progressed.

Speaker: Edward R. Weinberg