County commissioners agreed today to spend $106,271 to hire a consultant to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of restoration projects along the section of the Peace River in Polk County.
A final report on the study is scheduled to be completed by November.
The study, which will be undertaken by Kisinger Camp & Associates, will look at habitat, soils, wildlife, water quality and other features along the river. The 154-square-mile study area has been heavily impacted by urban development, phosphate mining and farming operations over the past 150 years
This is the first of three proposed study phases.
Subsequent phases will involve further analyses of top-ranked restoration projects and the design and permitting of any restoration projects that are selected.
The effort will involve examining potential expansion of recreational opportunities along this scenic waterway.
Three public boat ramps and a riverside boardwalk park already exist. Efforts are under way to establish wayfinding markers to encourage paddling on this section of the river.