Naples Bay is in great need of cleansing, and I’ve been a strong proponent of cleaning the bay through many different options. Each oyster cleans 50 gallons of water a day.

We’ve received a grant to begin this project and are in progress to secure more funding to improve and maintain the quality of our water resources.

BACKGROUND:

Since the 1950’s, Naples Bay has lost 80% of its oyster reefs, which provide aquatic habitat, improve water quality, and strengthen coastal resiliency defenses through wave attenuation.

This oyster reef project has a restoration area footprint of approximately five acres in Naples Bay, which will protect a section of mangrove shoreline from harsh wave impacts, help alleviate storm and flooding effects, restore vital habitat, and improve water quality, as oysters are known filter feeders. The ecological monitoring (e.g. mean live oyster density, oyster sizefrequency) will fulfil federal and state permitting requirements, evaluate the success of the
restoration project, and provide valuable information for future aquatic habitat restoration and living shoreline resilience projects in Naples.

 

On May 6, 2015, City Council approved a $171,597.04 Professional Services Agreement with Scheda Ecological Associated, Inc. for designing, engineering, and permitting a design for the creation of oyster beds in Naples Bay (Bid/Proposal No. 15-017). A total of 5-acre restoration area for oyster reefs was designed at three sites in Naples Bay.

To help fund this oyster restoration project, the City responded to competitive Federal Funding Opportunity Number NOAA-NOS-NRPO-2017-2005159 from the NOAA Coastal Resilience Grants Program. On August 1, 2017, the City of Naples was awarded Federal funding of $484,244 (Federal Award ID Number NA17NMF4630285).

The City also responded to the competitive Coastal Partnership Initiative request for Grant Applications from the Florida Coastal Management Program, State of Florida Department of Environmental Quality.

On March 23, 2017, the City was awarded $30,000 in funding, and an agreement (DEP Agreement No. CM820) was received on August 24, 2017. City Council voted to accept these awards at their regular council meeting on September 6, 2017, and entered into agreements with NOAA and DEP.

On September 5, 2018 City Council awarded an Agreement for oyster reef construction to Earth Tech Enterprises, Inc. to construct oyster reefs and wave attenuation structures at Site 1 in Naples Bay and authorized an Agreement with Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) to conduct ecological monitoring at oyster reef restoration sites. Construction of Site 1 is complete, with monitoring ongoing; Construction of Site 2 has not started, staff are looking at
grant opportunities to fund construction of this site; Construction of Site 3 is approximately 50% complete, with completion expected in FY19-20, monitoring is ongoing.

FUNDING SOURCE:

Two external funding awards contributed to this project: 1) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Restoration Center, Office of Habitat Conservation, Coastal Resilience Grant Program award #59-6000382 ($484,244), and 2) Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Coastal Management Program with a grant from the NOAA Office for Coastal Management awarded under the Coastal Zone Management Act; DEP Agreement No.
CM820 ($30,000).

The FY 2017-18 and FY 2018-2019 Stormwater budgets allocated $100,000 each FY for this effort within Oyster Reef & Seagrass Restoration CIP 18V12.

An additional $100,000 is earmarked in FY 2019-2020 and this amount fulfils the City’s committed contribution to this project as detailed in the NOAA grant agreement.

The first-year funding of $20,000 for ecological monitoring was provided by the Natural Resources Division’s Resources Management account (531000). An additional $30,000 will be provided from the $100,000 that is earmarked in Oyster Reef & Seagrass Restoration CIP 18V12 (FY 2019-2020) and this amount fulfils the City’s committed contribution to this project as detailed in the NOAA grant agreement.

Natural Resources staff are exploring funding options, including grants, for construction of Site 2 oyster reefs.