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June 2014
Lake Worth Lagoon E-News

Photo Credit:

Gael Silverblatt

Oystercatchers Make Use of New Habitat ... a Little Earlier Than Planned

Bryant Park Wetlands project managers had hoped that the new habitat would attract imperiled species like American oystercatchers ... just not so soon. With a third of the project remaining, a pair of the rare shorebirds nested on an unfinished sand pile. As a result, the project was modified to leave the nesting area as an island in the middle of the project footprint. Three oystercatcher chicks hatched on April 28 and 29. As oystercatchers tend to return to the same nest site, we can expect to see the mating pair at Bryant Park next year and in the years to come.

View the Project Fact Sheet

Grassy Flats Project Re-using South Lake Worth Inlet Sand Trap Dredge Material

The deepening of the South Lake Worth Inlet sand trap is nearing completion, which should result in less frequent maintenance dredging. Sand from the trap has provided the initial base for two islands and a berm around the perimeter of the Grassy Flats Restoration Project. Sand from the Hypoluxo Scrub Natural Area will also be beneficially re-used for the project in late spring. The Grassy Flats project will restore habitat for fisheries and wildlife, improve water quality and provide an ecotourism destination.

View the Grassy Flats Project Fact Sheet

View the South Lake Worth Inlet Project Fact Sheet

Weather, Water and the Lagoon

According to the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and the National Weather Service (NWS), South Florida's water levels are at seasonally normal levels heading into the 2014 wet season that is forecasted to produce near to slightly below-average precipitation. Palm Beach County environmental managers indicate the forecasted conditions could help the lagoon's seagrasses and oysters recover from the high volume freshwater discharges which began during Tropical Storm Isaac in 2012 and extended into 2013.

For more details on water levels and the wet season forecast, view the joint SFWMD and NWS news release

ManateeEnhanced Manatee Protection Efforts Paying Off

For the eighth year in a row, additional on-water law enforcement patrols in Palm Beach County during manatee season helped to improve speed zone compliance, reducing risks to manatees and boaters. For the first time since 2007, no watercraft-related manatee deaths were recorded in Palm Beach County during manatee season, which runs from November 15 to March 31. The collaborative effort between county, state and local law enforcement agencies logged more than 1700 additional hours, producing 2066 educational contacts, 663 manatee zone warnings and 138 manatee zone citations, during the recent season.

Learn more about manatees

Sea Turtles in Lake Worth Lagoon

Did you know sea turtles live year-round in the lagoon? Small green sea turtles live, feed and grow in the lagoon's shallow waters. Some areas support the densest populations recorded anywhere in Florida, and genetic testing indicates that some of these turtles have come from as far away as Ascension Island in the South Atlantic - a distance of more than 6000 miles! Learn more at a presentation on June 10 at 2 p.m.

View the presentation flyer

Lake Worth Lagoon Color SealLWLI Public Outreach Working Group Update

The Lake Worth Lagoon Initiative Public Outreach Working Group has formed action teams focused on youth engagement and the issue of plastic debris. The teams are beginning to identify outreach actions specific to these topics. In addition, the sharing of Lake Worth Lagoon information at the Earth Day event on Saturday, April 12 at the Okeeheelee Nature Center was made possible through the voluntary participation of working group members.

Learn more about this working group

ERM Rocks SunFest

With the South Cove Natural Area as a backdrop and the sound of music in the air, PBC ERM staff and volunteers hosted a tent display May 2 - 4 at SunFest in downtown West Palm Beach. More than 900 people stopped by to learn about Lake Worth Lagoon and restoration efforts.

View the South Cove Natural Area Project Fact Sheet

South Grade Elementary Explores Lake Worth Lagoon

A group of 120 3rd graders and their teachers walked a mile each way from South Grade Elementary School to meet with PBC ERM staff at Snook Islands Natural Area in the city of Lake Worth. The field trip to learn about the lagoon included a guided walk on the boardwalk, wildlife viewing with binoculars and introductions to some of the lagoon's plants and animals.

Learn more about Snook Islands Natural Area

Palm Beach Atlantic Students Help Beautify South Cove Natural Area

Battling wind and rain on April 11, students from Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) joined PBC ERM staff at the South Cove Natural Area in downtown West Palm Beach. Despite the wet conditions, the group planted 120 red mangroves and removed 75 pounds of trash. They were also able to record fish, including a foot-long barracuda, that were collected with a seine net at the site. PBA students regularly use South Cove as a living classroom.

View more photos of this activity

Thank You Lagoon Cleanup Volunteers!
The following Lake Worth Lagoon sites were the focus of cleanup events as part of the Great American Cleanup in April: Harvey E. Oyer Jr. Park (Boynton Beach), Snook Islands (Lake Worth), MacArthur Beach State Park (North Palm Beach), Summa Beach (West Palm Beach), Phil Foster Park (Riviera Beach) and Mangrove Park (Boynton Beach). Thank you to all the organizations, agencies, municipalities and individuals who participated!
Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management | (561) 233-2400 | wpuz@pbcgov.org | http://www.pbcgov.com/erm
2300 N. Jog Road
4th Floor
West Palm Beach, FL 33411

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