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The following schedule is subject to change (as of October 11, 2016). Please check back for updates. For more information about this meeting, go to: www.seafwa.org/conferences/2016
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Wednesday, October 19 • 8:40am - 9:00am
Fisheries. Breaching Levees to Reconnect Extensive Marsh Habitat to a Major Chain of Lakes, Conserving Vital Aquatic Habitat and Providing New Freshwater Fishing Opportunities

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AUTHORS: Dennis J. Renfro, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

ABSTRACT: In Central Florida in the 1950’s a levee system was constructed that resulted in isolating 10,000 acres of marsh from the 9,417 acres main body of Lake Griffin. The marshland was subsequently drained and transformed into productive farmland to support the increased need for agricultural land. In recent years, the state has purchased lands to undertake a restoration project to reconnect the vital marsh habitat to Lake Griffin. Florida has reconnected two marshes, Area 2 (400 acres) in 2005 and Area 4 (660 acres) in 2007 resulting in 11 percent return of the drained marsh habitat to the major system. With completion of the reconnection of the Area 3 (1,000 acres) the lake will have a total net gain of 21 percent of the vital marsh habitat reconnected. The first phase of the project encompasses breaching the internal levees at six locations, removing the rock surface used for vehicle access of the interior levees and creating four 30 x 15 feet habitat islands. Reconnection will be accomplished by breaching the external levees in four locations, a single 600 feet breach and three 200 feet long breaches. Reconnection of 1,000 acres of wetlands will create new fishing opportunities, improve access to Lake Griffin, manage wetlands/aquatic vegetation for waterfowl hunters and provide wildlife viewing opportunities through habitat management.
This project meets the goals of FWC’s strategic plan in providing residents and visitors with quality fishing, hunting, boating and wildlife viewing opportunities while also providing for the sustainability of natural resources.

Wednesday October 19, 2016 8:40am - 9:00am
Riverview A

Attendees (9)