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The Riverside Garden Park shoreline consists of a mixture of freshwater marsh, riverine forest and hardened shoreline (seawall and rip-rap). Several large laurel oaks (Quercus laurifolia) and cabbage palms (Sabal palmetto) provide canopy along the shoreline, but the cover is not high enough to classify the entire shoreline as a riverine forest. The shoreline consists primarily of a freshwater marsh with intermittent laurel oak and cabbage palm hammock. This freshwater marsh system contains a moderate percentage (25%) of nuisance species including: paragrass (Brachiaria mutica), cattails (Typha sp.), and torpedo grass (Panicum repens). Similar species were observed within the riverine forest but also included Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius). Native species found within this system include: laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto) and American elm (Fraxinus Americana). The seawall is composed of eroded aluminum that has detached from the shoreline allowing water to get landward of the wall; although no native wetland species have encroached the area.
In several areas, the upland grass is being mowed down to the water’s edge precluding native vegetative growth.
The shoreline slope is variable based on the vegetative community. The slope within the riparian forest is steep and there are signs of erosion. The shoreline adjacent to the freshwater marsh is much more gradual and erosion is not a problem. It is anticipated that this shoreline provides habitat for wading birds, fish and amphibians. The adjacent upland is a narrow, maintained grass area located within a residential area; therefore, it provides little supporting habitat. The low exotic removal priority rating is based on the percentage of exotic and/or nuisance species. This site has been selected for restoration by the City of Tampa and SWFWMD/SWIM and is currently under design.
Overall, the habitat quality for the freshwater marsh and riverine forest are rated as moderate, and the rip-rapped and sea-walled shoreline are rated as minimal.
Existing Plans and Historical Plans
Conceptual plans to restore 2,500 linear feet with funding from the SWIM program.
The City of Tampa has requested SWFWMD cooperative funding for construction in early summer 2005.
Short Term: 1) Volunteers to remove the nuisance species and clean up litter. 2) Implement proposed restoration plan currently under development by the City and SWFWMD SWIM Program. 3) Volunteers to participate in the restoration process.
Long Term: 1) Monitoring of restoration. Volunteers to provide ongoing exotic removal.
Aquatic and Wetland Plants and Invasive Plants in Florida
Florida's Breeding Bird Atlas
Freshwater Fisheries Management
Guide to the Rare Plants and Animals of Florida Online
Marshes: Tidal and Non-Tidal
Online Guide to the Snakes of Florida
Riverside Garden Park - City of Tampa
Dominant Exotics and Habitat Quality
||Habitat Quality Rating
Workday Report Summary