The long awaited Perdido Key Dune Restoration Project will get underway today.  The project is required to be substantially complete by Monday, April 30.

The Perdido Key Dune Restoration project will restore six miles of dune habitat from the Florida-Alabama state line, east to the edge of Gulf Islands National Seashore property. The project will restore approximately 20 acres of degraded dune habitat on Perdido Key by planting and establishing salt-tolerant vegetation, which will enhance coastal resiliency.

This project will restore appropriate dune vegetation to approximately 20 acres of degraded beach dune habitat in Perdido Key, Florida, including habitat used by the federally endangered Perdido Key Beach Mouse.

The project will take place in an area that begins approximately 2.2 miles east of Perdido Pass at the Alabama/Florida state line and extends approximately 6 miles to the east.

The improvements will consist of planting appropriate dune vegetation (e.g., sea oats, panic grasses, cord grasses, sea purslane, beach elder) approximately 20-60 feet seaward of the existing primary dune to provide a buffer to the primary dune and enhance dune habitats.

In addition, gaps in existing dunes within the project area will be re-vegetated to provide a continuous dune structure. All plants will be grown from seeds or cuttings from the Alabama or North Florida coast to ensure appropriate genetic stocks are used in the project.

The success of the project was highly dependent on the support of Perdido Key Gulf-front property owners. Ninety percent of Perdido Key Gulf-front property owners provided the necessary access to allow the project to move forward.

Escambia County has received restoration funding through the Natural Resource Damage Assessment as a result of the impact sustained to the Perdido Key dune system during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010 and the subsequent cleanup operations.