Tuesday, March 24, 2015

ANERR Looking for volunteers to help stabilize and protect shoreline

APALACHICOLA - Come help the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) fill mesh bags with oyster shells on the morning of Friday, April 3rd, 2015, from 9:00am-12:00pm at Scipio Creek Commercial Marina in Apalachicola. The bagged shells will be used to build a breakwater that will protect the shoreline of Cape (Little) St. George Island. The oyster breakwater will help dissipate wave action that erodes the shoreline.  ANERR will also plant a living shoreline to reestablish a vegetative buffer on the shoreline. Living Shorelines provide shoreline stabilization using a combination of coastal native vegetation for sediment stabilization and breakwaters constructed of oyster shells, limestone rock, or other structures conducive to the natural environment.

The historic Marshall House is located on Cape St. George. Years of wave action have eroded the shore which makes the historic structure vulnerable to storms. To help ensure the structure is protected, ANERR will build the breakwater and reestablish a living shoreline on the bayside of the island.

ANERR has written a grant to help preserve the historic Marshall House. Cape St. George Island, or Little St. George Island as it is known locally, is rich in history. The island was privately purchased in the 1890’s, except for the six acres owned by the U.S. Lighthouse Establishment, which included the lighthouse and two dwellings.  Edward Gibbs Porter served as the lighthouse keeper for Cape Saint George Lighthouse until 1913. The Marshall House is an early 1900’s Florida homestead that was constructed by Herbert Marshall for his family and wife, Pearl Porter Marshall, who bears a direct connection to the island as the former lighthouse keeper’s daughter. ANERR has applied for a Special Category Historical Preservation Grant to repair and restore the house back to its original state. Upon completion, this historic site will be used as a living museum. Visitors will be encouraged to take tours through the Reserve to experience how life once was on this Florida homestead. In addition, visitors will learn about the history of the island, the lighthouse, and the early historic people that once occupied the island.

Please wear closed toed shoes, bring sunscreen, a hat, and a bottle or cup to drink from.  ANERR will provide the gloves, shovels, and water. We will be assembling the bags at Scipio Creek Commercial Marina at the north end of Market Street. For more information Kim Wren, 850-670-7718, email Kim.Wren@dep.state.fl.us.

WHAT:  Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve

WHEN:  Friday, April 3, 2015 - 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. EST.

WHERE:  Scipio Creek Commercial Marina at the north end of Market Street, Apalachicola, Florida