Seawall Enhancement at NCBS

Living Shorelines of Cedar Key

Seawall Enhancement at NCBS

Cedar Key, Florida 32625, United States

Created By: UF IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station


The NCBS is built on a parcel that was developed in the 1950s, well before society understood the negative impacts of seawalls. For decades, shoreline armoring with seawalls or rock piles was the default option. Still today, many shorelines are armored with seawalls. But softer alternatives such as living shorelines are gaining momentum, especially since living shorelines are generally cheaper, prettier, and have many ecological benefits.

But, what can be done with all of the existing seawalls? We have options to make seawalls more environmentally functional. Goals for the seawall redemption project at NCBS were to improve habitat, reduce nutrient runoff, conserve freshwater, and increase water filtration by oysters around our property.

These goals were accomplished by:

  • Using native plants so we can avoid irrigation, pesticides, and fertilizer
  • Removal of turf grass and replacement with low-maintenance "rock-scapes"
  • Formation an unvegetated buffer at least 10 feet back from the seawall edge
  • Increase complexity in front of seawall by adding limestone rocks
  • Enhance oyster habitat by placing Reef Balls, concrete domes that create settlement areas for oysters

This point of interest is part of the tour: Living Shorelines of Cedar Key


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