North Lido Beach Park gets help from friends
A total of 60 volunteers, including members of the Sarasota Bay Estuary’s Bay Guardian volunteer program and Around the Bend Nature Tours, planted 2,065 native plants July 9 at North Lido Beach Park. It was one of the largest volunteer plantings ever held in the region.
The American Littoral Society and Sarasota County donated the plants. Some of the plants being used were grown at Mote Marine Laboratory’s Mote Aquaculture Park, a 200-acre aquaculture research and development facility in eastern Sarasota County. The Florida Native Plant Society provided lunch.
The new tidal tributary at North Lido Beach Park was completed in March. The restoration project improved 30 acres on the 70-acre site. The effort 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 SBEP staff scientist Jay Leverone PhD.
Florida Native Nursery planted more than 8,000 plants on the newly created shores in the spring. Major funding for the restoration project comes from Southwest Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Individuals and organizations supporting the project include the Lido Shores Property Owners Association, Lido Key Residents Association, Sarasota Audubon Society and Capt. Jeffrey Karr with the Sarasota Police Department.