July 17, 2015
FORT PIERCE, Fla. – The Florida Coastal Office’s Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves (IRLAP) along with the Friends of the Spoil Islands hosted a cleanup of Spoil Island SL15 that resulted in more than 30 volunteers in canoes and kayaks removing 27 55-gallon garbage bags filled with trash and recyclables. SL15 is a designated conservation island set aside for use by wildlife.
“The cleanup was a success thanks to the large number of hardworking volunteers,” said Brian Sharpe, IRLAP manager. “This was the largest single spoil island cleanup event that I have ever been a part of.”
The cleanup was conducted via paddle crafts to prevent damage to the extremely shallow flats and seagrass beds around the island. The IRLAP provided two boats, anchored in deeper water, to remove the 12 bags of trash and 15 bags of recyclables that were collected.
SL15 is one of the few spoil islands that is completely free of non-native species. In 2005 the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) conducted a project on this spoil island that removed all exotic species and created a seagrass bed and mangrove planter at the site of the island. DOT’s project was completed as mitigation for the building of the South Causeway and transformed the spoil island from an exotic species-dominated island to a mangrove and seagrass ecosystem. The upland is a horseshoe shaped area, with several smaller islands to the south.
For more information about this cleanup, please call Brian Sharpe at 772-429-2995.