“The day you build it is going to be the weakest it ever is, and they are only going to get stronger over time. Exactly the opposite is true of hardened infrastructure like a seawall – it’s actually going to be the strongest it will ever be on the first day and will continue to slowly degrade over time and eventually have to be replaced,” said Savanna Barry, the NCBS Regional Specialized Extension Agent.
Nature Coast Biological Station works to implement living shorelines in waterfront communities. Currently, the NCBS has three different living shoreline projects that members of the community can go to and learn more by taking a tour in person or self-guided through an app-based experience. These are located in Cedar Key at the NCBS, on Airport Road, and at Joe Raines Beach.
The living shoreline projects give the Cedar Key and surrounding communities’ members the opportunity to get involved in research and science, where data gaps are common because of the rural landscape. At NCBS, Barry works closely with the community to help fill those gaps. Barry’s programs focus on creating opportunities for citizen science, which enhances the quality and management of habitats and species within the Nature Coast Region.
“Another way is getting people involved in actually collecting scientific data and giving them respect for the scientific process, while also filling data gaps. Where I’m based in Florida is pretty rural. A lot of data collection programs around the state have data gaps where we are. So it serves a dual purpose in getting people involved in science through citizen science initiatives and water quality monitoring and things like horseshoe crab populations,” said Barry.
Barry directs the extension and outreach programs at NCBS. She focuses on enhancing best practices for sustainable tourism as well as creating opportunities for volunteerism and citizen science programs. She also focuses on providing leadership and mentorship for county extension faculty in the region.
Florida Sea Grant