Coastal habitats provide invaluable economic and ecosystem services. However, coastlines are eroding at increasing rates due to anthropogenic and climate driven changes. Grey and green infrastructure solutions have been proposed to retard the decay of coastlines, with oysters serving as a popular living shoreline. Three community-based stabilizations that implemented living shorelines and engaged local communities in restoration efforts over the past decade in Volusia County were revisited to determine if they were successful and if they produced positive public perceptions of success. Chicken Island, which was restored after waves, boat wakes, tides, and adverse weather altered the natural shoreline, had significant increases in oyster size and density but an unsuccessful deployment of mangrove seedlings. The Port Orange study site installed living shoreline along existing sea wall and experienced low oyster recruitment, limited success with S. alterniflora propagation, and high cover of bare sediment. The Mosquito Lagoon Marine Enhancement Center had high vegetative cover and biodiversity and decreases in oyster density likely due to the development of healthy, mature oyster reefs. A survey of volunteers who participated in these three restoration projects was also conducted to determine if there is a tie in ecosystem function produced through restoration and community perceptions of restoration success. While there were not enough survey responses to draw conclusions, the responses were indicative of the future research needed to understand volunteer identities and sense of place as they relate to the human-nature system. To improve the long-term success of living shorelines, it is critical to not only select restoration methods appropriate for the specific location of the restoration, but to involve local communities to increase sense of self and investment in restoration efforts.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Graduate Studies
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Wimmer, Rachel, "Community-based Coastal Restoration: Long Term Impacts on Habitats and People in Volusia County" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 6745.