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Reducing Our Risk
Organization: Ecosystem Restoration Support Organization, Inc.
Between the early 70s and the late 1990s, the quality of Pensacola Bay declined dramatically due to the impact from industrial and domestic wastewater disposal, non point source runoff, and other anthropogenic impacts. In addition, the coverage of natural habitat such as sea grass beds and oyster reefs also declined significantly. Adding to the problem was the development of coastal areas which reduced available floodplain areas and increased risk of storm damage.
Beginning in 1999, Gulf Power and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s NW District (FDEP) partnered to develop a demonstration project that would begin to address many of these issues. Gulf Power donated $100k and the name Project GreenShores (PGS). FDEP leveraged the $100k investment into a total investment of ~$6,000,000 ($2,797,000 cash and $2,828,043 in kind donations). PGS includes 30 acres of oyster, salt marsh, and seagrass habitat along 2 miles of urban waterfront in downtown Pensacola that protects public infrastructure, provides habitat for birds, fish, oysters and crustaceans, improves water quality and provides recreational opportunities.