What is Tarpon Cove?
Tarpon Cove is a 46-acre collection of islands built over a former dredge hole located on the west side of the Lake Worth Lagoon adjacent to the El Cid neighborhood in the City of West Palm Beach. Over the years, muck sediment accumulated in the hole resulting in degraded water quality and depleted estuarine habitat. By filling in the hole and capping the muck with clean sand, islands have been created and contoured at elevations optimal for seagrass, tidal sand flat, mangrove, saltmarsh, and oyster habitats that support fisheries, birds, oysters, manatees, and sea turtles. In addition, the restoration site even has special non vegetated areas designed to support nesting habitat for threatened coastal shorebirds in Florida. In 2022, staff observed successful nesting of American Oystercatchers, Least Terns, and Black Skimmers at Tarpon Cove.
Weeding for the Birds Volunteer Events:
To help keep the 1.6 acres of nesting habitat free of vegetation and trash the County coordinated four “Weeding for the Birds and Trash Clean up” events attended by 55 volunteers between October 2022 and March of 2023.
Prior to the beginning of Least Tern and Black Skimmer nesting season beginning in May, the County will coordinate two more volunteer opportunities. If interested in participating in an event or want to learning more please contact Eric Anderson, at 561-233-2514 or [email protected]
- March 25th 9-12: FAU students and Good Karma Squad, Meeting at Monceaux Park 9am
- April 13th 8-11: ERM volunteers, Meeting at Monceaux Park 8am
Tarpon Cove Planting Events Summary:
To complete the mangrove islands the County hosted two large community event in January and February. Attended by community partners over 140 volunteers planted 8,000 saltmarsh grass plugs and 1,200 red mangrove trees on the islands. In addition MANG Gear, who has donated all the mangroves to the project, hosted four additional events which planted another 800 red mangrove trees. The restoration effort provides important coastal resiliency to our shorelines, increases nursery areas and habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, and improves water quality to Palm Beach County’s largest estuary, Lake Worth Lagoon.
Ongoing and Future Work:
Material placement to create seagrass habitat surrounding the island of Barcelona, Granada, and Almeria Roads is expected to continue for the next couple months. Lastly the placement of limestone to create oyster habitat surrounding the Granada Island and Almeria Island and installation of six aid to navigation signs are expected to be completed by the end of the summer.
Questions? Please reach out to:
Eric Anderson, Senior Environmental Analyst
Palm Beach County
Environmental Resources Mgmt.
2300 North Jog Road, 4th Floor
West Palm Beach, FL 33411-2743