Sunday, Jun 16, 2019

City-County Water Quality Project Already Going to the Birds

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WHITE CITY – St. Lucie County and the City of Port St. Lucie have partnered on a $2.5 million water quality project off of Sunrise Boulevard that is already attracting a variety of shorebirds and wading birds, weeks before the project is finalized.

Funded primarily by the City of Port St. Lucie as part of the Crosstown Parkway Extension Project and overseen by St. Lucie County’s Water Quality Division, the Platt’s Creek Mitigation Bank is a 63-acre project designed to remove roughly 1,200 pounds of Phosphorus and 1,600 pounds of Nitrogen annually from the North Fork of the St. Lucie River. By restoring the native habitat and storing/treating water, the Platt’s Creek project improves water quality, while creating additional habitat for birds and other wildlife.

Biologists with St. Lucie County’s Environmental Resources Department have already documented Black-necked Stilts nesting at the restoration site weeks before completion. Additional bird species spotted at the site, including Sandhill Cranes, Tricolor Herons, Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, Roseate Spoonbills, Ibis, Whistling Ducks, Snowy Egrets and Woodstorks.

St. Lucie County plans to include passive recreational amenities at the site such as hiking trails, educational signs, wildlife blinds, a canoe launch and covered picnic tables. Environmental staff intend to apply to have the site included on the Great Florida Birding Trail, once all the additional amenities are added.

Local contractor Blue Goose Construction began working on the Platt’s Creek Mitigation Bank last summer and is expected to be completed by the end of August.

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