Money Bayou Wetlands Restoration (Planning)
Department of Commerce
DWH Project Funding
Known Leveraged Funding
Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council
The RESTORE Act Funds Bucket 2: Comprehensive Plan
The Money Bayou basin includes over 1,800 acres of estuarine and freshwater marsh interspersed with forested wetlands. Money Bayou drains directly to the Gulf of Mexico between Cape San Blas and St. Vincent Island. Money Bayou basin is now protected within the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve; however, extensive ditching, road construction, and fire plow lines were constructed across the basin. These alterations disrupt the area’s natural hydrology, resulting in degraded wetlands, the loss of aquatic communities, and invasive plant species. Removing prior disturbances that have altered wetland community structure will promote natural water flow and restore historic wetland function by reconnecting natural drainage pathways within the watershed. Enhancing wetland hydrology and function would restore a mix of natural ecological communities that have been impacted across the Preserve including wet prairie, seepage slope, floodplain marsh, strand swamp, basin swamp, and dome swamp. This project would complete the planning, engineering, design and environmental compliance activities required to restore natural hydrology to approximate 1,000 acres of wetlands in the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve in Florida. This project would also develop plans for a robust monitoring and evaluation approach using objective measures of success. An outreach and education plan would be developed to engage the public and transfer best practices to restoration practitioners.