New tributary completed on North Lido
Local contractors working with the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) have completed the development of a new tidal tributary at North Lido Park adjacent to the beach access. The restoration project will improve about 30 acres on the 70-acre site. The major effort launched in September removed non-native vegetation, excavated the tidal wetland, contoured the upland area, created dunes and planted thousands of native plants.
The tidal wetland was created to provide essential habitat for estuarine dependent fish species, according to Jay Leverone, PhD and SBEP staff scientist.
“The project also provides improved habitat for birds, reptiles and other wildlife,” he said. “Local residents have already reported seeing eagles, ospreys, a gopher tortoise and numerous schools of small fish in the park.”
Florida Native Nursery recently planted more than 8,700 plants on the newly created shores. More than 500 additional plants will be added this summer by the Bay Guardians, a volunteer group supported by SBEP and Around the Bend Nature Tours.
Funding for the restoration project comes from Southwest Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Other project partners include the City of Sarasota and Sarasota County. Individuals and organizations supporting the project include the Lido Shores Property Owners Association, Lido Key Residents Association, Sarasota Audubon Society, and Captain Jeffrey Karr with the Sarasota Police Department.