ANGARI Foundation hosted Pinellas County high school students as they participated in hands-on marine science instruction during the University of South Florida (USF) College of Marine Science’s Oceanography Camp for Girls (OCG).
West Palm Beach, Florida (February 13, 2023) – The Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management (ERM), ANGARI Foundation, MANG, local partners and community volunteers will help participate in a mass planting event at Tarpon Cove, a group of constructed islands located in the Lake Worth Lagoon.
An estimated 100 volunteers will gather on Thursday, February 16 at 9 a.m. to help plant 600 red mangroves and 4,000 Spartina grass plugs that will aid in restoring the habitats of Palm Beach County’s largest estuary. Students from Palm Beach Day Academy, Palm Beach County Mayor Gregg Weiss, and commissioners with the City of West Palm Beach will also be participating. Working with Palm Beach County ERM and partners, the ANGARI Foundation will be using their new, 16-foot Whaly tender to help transport staff, commissioners and volunteers to the island, along with hundreds of plants.
“Staff and community volunteers will have the opportunity for a hands-on activity to improve our environment and the health of the Lake Worth Lagoon,” said Benjamin Studt, Public Outreach Program Supervisor for Palm Beach County ERM. “It’s also a chance to enjoy the outdoors, connect with members of the community, and learn why planting mangrove trees, saltmarsh grasses, and restoring habitat is so impactful for Palm Beach County’s largest estuary.”
Tarpon Cove lies just east of West Palm Beach’s El Cid neighborhood and consists of five man- made islands. The islands are planted to create natural shoreline protection, in addition to habitat and food for native species. They also serve as a nesting and rest stop for threatened shore bird species, as well as habitat for oysters, manatees, and juvenile sea turtles.
“We are excited to join forces with the Palm Beach County ERM and partners in this valiant effort to not only help restore the Lake Worth Lagoon, but also to educate the community on why this estuary is so important for Florida’s ecosystem,” said Angela Rosenberg, president of ANGARI Foundation.
What: Tarpon Cove Volunteer Mangrove Planting Event with the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management and ANGARI Foundation
When: Thursday, February 16 at 9 a.m.
Where: Monceaux Park, 2994 South Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, FL 33405
More: Tarpon Cove is a habitat restoration project to restore seagrass, mangrove, saltmarsh, and oyster reef habitat within Lake Worth Lagoon, the largest estuary in the Palm Beaches. As a 25-year effort, the Palm Beach County ERM and local partners have completed more than 200 acres of vital habitat restoration for the estuary with the Lake Worth Lagoon Initiative – an informal forum to increase collective awareness of the health and future of the lagoon. The estuary has been reshaped many times by not only the communities that have grown up along its shores, but also the dozens of communities west of the Lake Worth Lagoon, whose water drains into the lagoon before reaching the ocean.
The construction of Tarpon Cove was completed in 2021 in collaboration with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Palm Beach County ERM, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the West Palm Beach Fishing Club, the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, multiple privately owned marinas, the Town of Palm Beach, and the City of West Palm Beach. The project restored 34.8 acres of seagrass, 1.35 acres of tidal flat, 1.35 acres of mangrove, and 2.1 acres of oyster and artificial reef habitat in the Lake Worth Lagoon.
The construction of Tarpon Cove supplemented with these planting events not only benefit the natural resources of the lagoon, but also make the infrastructure behind the islands more resilient to pressure from boat wakes and more frequent storm events. Furthermore, these events engage the community with natural ecosystems that are an integral part of their home.
For more information and to join the planting event, visit www.pbcerm.com
About Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management (ERM)
Established in 1987, ERM administers environmental programs that protect, preserve, and enhance Palm Beach County’s natural resources on land and in and under the water. Today, ERM administers 19 environmental programs and employs more than 140 people organized in five divisions. From Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic Ocean, ERM programs cover the county. For more information, visit www.pbcerm.com.
About ANGARI Foundation
ANGARI Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private operating foundation established in 2016 and headquartered in West Palm Beach, Fla. The Foundation is dedicated to creating a global community that is interested, knowledgeable, and invested in marine and environmental sciences by directly supporting research initiatives that foster a greater trust and dialogue between scientists and the public. ANGARI Foundation uses innovative technology, film, and other media to raise awareness and strengthen science education. Many of the Foundation’s primary initiatives involve R/V ANGARI, a 65-foot vessel that serves as an exceptional research and education platform. For more information, visit angari.org.
Director of Public Relations
(561) 844-1778, ext. 120
Public Outreach Program Supervisor
Palm Beach County ERM