Water-Related News

Volunteers needed to survey of Lee, Charlotte County Shorelines

Citizen paddlers and boaters completed the first comprehensive mapping of the Lee and Charlotte county estuarine shoreline in 2007 and again in 2010. Volunteers collected information about how much shoreline was natural vegetation, nonnative vegetation or "hardened" with seawalls or rip-rap. They also estimated hurricane damage to the vegetation.

The initial shoreline surveys combined on-site field visits by volunteers with aerial photography interpreted by scientists at Photo Science. Photo Science compared the 2007 data to aerial photo data and then incorporated it into a report.

With volunteer help, the CHNEP plans to update the shoreline survey by spring of 2013. The update will compare the results of all three surveys. The 2013 survey is supported with a grant from the Florida Coastal Management Program, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

These surveys provide shoreline vegetation condition information that helps inform resource managers in their efforts to restore and maintain estuary shorelines that support diverse fishery and invertebrate populations. The data are also used in studies such as one on the wetland conditions and changes within the watershed, which was conducted by the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council and the CHNEP, and funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the CHNEP. Survey information helps implement the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP), the CHNEP's plan to protect the environment.

CHNEP needs a corps of volunteer paddlers and boaters to help conduct the shoreline survey in 2013. No experience is necessary. The CHNEP will provide training and materials, though volunteers will need to have their own water transportation. If you would like to volunteer for the shoreline survey or would like more information about the project, please contact CHNEP Communications Manager Maran Hilgendorf (866-835-5785, ext. 240).

CHNEP Shoreline Survey Training on Jan. 12, 2013

Volunteers may register for a training session being offered on Jan. 12 in Punta Gorda, and may attend one, two or three sessions described below. You need not volunteer for the shoreline survey in order to attend the FPTA training. Survey training will also be offered at other times in other locations. The FPTA and USCGA training will be offered only on Jan. 12.

8:00 Registration
8:30 Florida Paddling Trail Association Environmental Toolkit Training
This is a three-hour class that teaches how to paddle/explore Florida with a purpose. Elements of the class include knowledge of Florida's wildlife and environment, how to interact with nature, gear needed to monitor and report problems, and pro-active approaches to help the environment.
11:30 Shoreline Survey Overview (Survey training will also be offered at other times in other locations.)
1:00 U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary GPS Training (only for shoreline volunteers, can bring boat's GPS unit)
4:00 Thank you!

You will receive an email with more details once you register, which you may do by clicking on the link below.

Additional Contact Information

Maran Hilgendorf

Communications Manager,, Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program

326 West Marion Avenue
Punta Gorda, FL - 33950

(941) 575-3374