Since 2007 the City had been exploring a 35% matching grant with the Department of the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to fund environmental restoration of the Long Point Road site. From 2007 to 2016 minimal City funds were expended to complete initial reporting requirements, define the scope of work, conduct site visits, develop management plans or interview contractors. In 2017 however, an opportunity allowed the City to work with a local developer and the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) — both of whom were seeking mitigation credits for various projects — to pursue a management plan.
This 7.9 acres of riverfront, City owned land located on the western end of Long Point Road consists of mixed wetland/exotic hardwoods, mangroves, fresh/salt water marsh, and the invasive species known as the Brazilian Pepper tree. Even in its current state, the Long Point Road property represents one of the last conservation habitats in Cape Canaveral. The City’s goal is to turn this space into a passive conservation area for current and future generations of the Community to enjoy. The project segments are as follows:
- Segment 1 (200± feet): Eastern end of the property already mostly cleared of vegetation as part of past Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts in 2016;
- Segment 2 (4± acres): Middle portion of the property, where all activities will be funded by a local developer, entered into a Conservation Agreement on August 21, 2018; and
- Segment 3 (3.88± acres): Western portion (waterfront) of the property, where all activities will be funded by SJRWMD, entered into a Conservation Agreement on October 16, 2018.
This project will be completed using a phased approach based on the SJRWMD permit and 5-year Management Plan (Participation Agreement) which requires: a vegetative survey; planting plan specifications; invasive species removal/monitoring; on-site inspections and an 80% natural plant survival rate.
- Phase I: Removal of all invasive species by various appropriate methods on Segment 1, 2 and 3 will take place in FY19/20.
- Phase II: The construction of passive park amenities such as but not limited to: bat/bird houses, prefabricated restroom, a riverfront elevated boardwalk and kayak landing, nature center/pavilion, educational kiosks, benches, gazebos and limited on-site parking will likely occur in FY21/22.
All initial tasks will be funded by the City with later reimbursement from SJRWMD ($54,910) upon completion of all activities pursuant to the Participation Agreement. Funding for work performed on Phase I (clearing/replanting) Segment 2 will be provided by the local developer, and Segment 3 will be provided by SJRWMD. All mitigation credits will be split between Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for the future widening of SR 528 and the local developer. Funding of the Phase II park amenity development tasks (estimated $865,000) will be pursued through various organizations in FY20/21 including the Brevard County Tourist Development Council and Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND).