The City is beginning the two projects to more actively manage vegetation growth along the beach. The first activity is the removal of invasive vegetation along the entire beach. The removal of invasive and/or exotic species is an important best management practice, especially in sensitive or rare ecosystems, such as the City’s beach. Invasives and exotics choke out native plants and removing them aids in the restoration of native biodiversity.
The scope for this project requires that the contractor dispose of the removed vegetation on a daily basis, so that they are not spread by wind or other factors. For this project, invasive species are those classified as Category I and II in the latest Florida Exotic Pest Plan Council List of Invasive Plant Species and Florida Administrative Code Section 5B-57.007, Noxious Weed List. The following species have been identified within the project area for removal and/or treatment:
- Coinvine (Dalbergia ecastaphyllum);
- Beach naupaka (Scaevola sericea);
- Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius);
- Australian pine (Casuarina spp.) – all saplings that are 8 feet or less;
- Carrotwood (Cupaniopsis anacardiodes);
- Skunk vine (Paederia fetida);
- Rosary pea (Abrus precatoryus);
- Pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum var. aureum);
- Rattlebox (Sesbania spp.); and
- Lead tree (Leucaena leucocephala).
Control of invasive and exotic vegetation is a long-term process that must be maintained as most are fast growing. The initial removal process began at the end of January 2021 and will be completed by the end of April. After this time, there will be a 30-day follow-up removal followed by quarterly removals for the remainder of the year.
The other activity that will be initiated is the removal of vegetation along the central beach from 104th to 119th Avenue to satisfy aesthetic concerns brought forward by several City businesses and residents. In 2014, the City was involved in litigation pertaining to vehicles on the beach. As a result, all unnecessary beach activities requiring vehicles and/or heavy equipment were ceased. Since this time, vegetation has filled in significantly. In January 2020, a vegetation removal permit application was submitted to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection requesting the removal of native species along the central beach to mimic the 2014 beach conditions shown below.
Areas Permitted for the Removal of Native Vegetation
Removal areas 1, 2 and 3 has been completed. It is anticipated that the remaining removal areas will be completed from November 2021 through April 2022.
Please contact Public Works at 727-547-4575 extension 251 with any questions.
Updated: 9 April 2021