The Florida Trustees have increased the budget for a bird habitat project at Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge, near Tampa. The project will restore, protect, and enhance coastal wading bird, seabird, and shorebird nesting and foraging habitat, as well as include vegetation management and dune stabilization.
With the addition of approximately $566,000, the new budget for the project totals $1.03 million.
Project activities include removing invasive plant species and planting native vegetation. Once established, the vegetation will reduce shoreline erosion, as well as restore, protect, and enhance habitat for bird species injured by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The need for additional funding is due to a combination of factors, most notably, time delays due to COVID-19 restrictions and an adjustment in invasive plant removal techniques. Increases in labor and material costs since the project was approved also contributed to higher project costs.
The Egmont Key project was approved in June 2021 as part of the Florida Trustees’ Restoration Plan 2.
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