Spoil Island #17, Wesley's Island or as I perfer to call it Frostbite Falls, Florida!
Wesley's Island or Spoil Island #17, is a small 2.6 hectare island between the north and south causeways in Ft Pierce Florida. The island is surrounded by seagrasses, salt marshes, and is used for bird nesting and loafing.
The island’s is designation is for educational researchaswell as a bird watching habitat, but people often use it for recreational activities such as camping, hiking, and fishing. My intent is to enhance the natural aspects of the island while preserving recreational activities.
Due to its location it has been colonized by several einvasive plant species. I am trying to remove these einvasive species and restore the habitat. My long term goal is to have visiting and local students learn habitat restoration techniques (exotic vegetation removal, oyster reefs, artificial reefs, uplands habitats) while benefitting the local environment.
Spring break of 2015 we had students from Plymouth State College in New Hampshire come down on alternative spring break and help start the habitat restoration. (Spring Breakers are always welcome!) Hopefully we can use therir efforts as a model for habitat restoration around the world.
Since then we have had a group of volunteers from Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Freinds of the Spoil Islands Just to name a few, start to remove the ivasive plant species on the Island.
We had one group of volunteers commit to bird watching and counting while other surveyed the waters on the western to souther western parts of the island.
Most recently students from the Smithsonian Insitution's Aquarium Staged a ecological class focusing on waters surrounding the island. They studied the sea grasses and the local aquatic faunna in the Fort Pierce Inlet.
This island is in such a unique position, it is in the Fort Pierce inlet and it is located between the north and the south bridges that connect noth the north and south Hutchinson Islands to the main land.
I am a professor of Oceanography and Biologicial Sciences. Techniclally I am a Planetary Scientist and have been known to dable in astrobiology. I am also a licenced Environmental Consultant, and a Scuba Instructor.
I have been working the environmental field for well over 20 years.
Lately I am trying to do more research on the Indian River Lagoon.