Turrell, Hall & Associates, Inc. has been the lead consultant for ongoing restoration and maintenance for the Clam Bay ecosystem since 1998. The system consists of a series of shallow estuarine lagoons with approximately 500 acres of mangrove forested areas, open shallow water areas, seagrass beds, dune, and beach habitat. Ecological evidence shows that the system is currently stressed; approximately 40-50 acres of black mangroves have been reported dead or dying since approximately 1989. This has provided an impetus for the restoration efforts undertaken.
Given the size of the system, a combination of ground-truthing and aerial photography has been used to accurately and efficiently map and catalog vegetative communities in Clam Bay. Efforts were focused on fixed vegetation, mainly mangroves, and seagrasses. Thus, establishing a baseline against which future restoration activity success could be measured.
The overview for 2007 was that of steady progression in the mangrove recovery process. With two years of non-eventful hurricane seasons has allowed areas that were impacted by storms in 2004 and 2005 to continue naturally on the road to recovery. Efforts undertaken thus far still appear to have been successful, particularly the construction of the flushing cuts. Additional emphasis has arisen in the past year with regards to seagrass survival and monitoring within outer Clam Bay