Miami-Dade County, DERM, saw Chicken Key as an opportunity for the implementation of Riley Encased Methodology (REM) in restoration and shoreline stabilization of the island. The photo above shows installation of the encasements along the barren eastern shoreline in 1997.
The planting included both Red (Rhizophora mangle) and Black (Avicenna germinas) mangroves to ensure protection of the spoil island from influence of the open waters of Biscayne Bay.
Wrack line was a major destructive influence and inhibiting factor preventing natural recruitment and reestablishment of mangroves along this shoreline. The photo to the right shows the collection of grasses, wood planks and consumer products that are routinely driven against the island during inclement weather events, such as tropical storms, hurricanes and cold fronts.
Following the planting, periodic site surveys were performed to document the establishment of mangroves and the resulting shoreline stabilization.
The following photo shows splitting of the encasement as the cross sectional area of the developing tree expands against the interior encasement wall. The multi-position opening of the encasement at engineered stress points facilitates the adaptation process and is a patented pending feature of our proprietary encasement design and manufacture.
In the photo to the left a black mangrove is in the foreground with the root system pneumatophores extending outside the encasement and above the surrounding sediment. A red mangrove is shown in the background with its prop root structure also extending outside the encasement. In 2001, as evidenced by the photos, the plantings were undergoing the adaptation process that would ultimately result in mature trees independent of the encasements.
Numerous tropical storms and hurricanes, which included Floyd, Dennis, Irene, Emily, Frances, Jeanne, Chris and Katrina, caused high wind and wave activity at the site from 1997 to 2007. The inherent ability of the encasement device to protect plantings from inclement events is a benefit of the REM Principle of Isolation. Isolation of the seedling inside the tubular encasement device ensures that juvenile plants are protected from wind, waves, wrack and debris during the early stages of development when most vulnerable to environmental influence and damage.
Chicken Key is a quintessential example of employing REM technology as a viable habitat creation, restoration and shoreline stabilization tool.
The success of this spoil island stabilization project provides further empirical evidence in contraposition to the errant philosophy of only relying on natural recovery processes.
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mangrove.org is an Citizen Sector Organization (CSO) providing methodology and technology in mangrove afforestation, restoration and habitat creation. The organization contributes to solutions for poverty, hunger, environmental degradation and pollution. |
Research was undertaken to develop and define a methodology for establishing self-sustaining, mangrove-stabilized shorelines.
Photos and video clips illustrate shoreline stabilization, habitat creation and restoration including plant development stages (videos require RealPlayer software). Information on habitat dynamics and the ecological importance of mangroves is provided with links to mangrove projects. A brief summary of the project is given in Spanish.