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Atlantic Dunes Park: A Restoration Success Story in Progress

May 28th, 2021

Entrance to ADP Beach.

As we prepare for our event on June 5th to celebrate the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, we want to reflect on the progression of our work at Atlantic Dune Park (ADP), in Delray Beach, Florida. Since 2016, IRC has worked to restore coastal biodiversity at ADP. This work has included floristic research and restoration planning, invasive plant removal, native plant installations, trash pick-up, and photo monitoring. Our focus has been on the restoration of the critically rare coastal strand community, which has been nearly obliterated in southeastern Florida south of northern Palm Beach County. We have been able to augment or reintroduce many native species that were previously documented at the park, were missing, or are very rare in dunes in southern Palm Beach County. Click here for a list of plants at ADP.

Restoration at ADP has been part of our Green Delray and Restoring the Gold Coast program (RGC) which was the 2019 Environmental Award winner from Impact 100 Palm Beach County (Impact PBC). We have been able to make a lot of progress removing invasive plants and adding biodiversity while including the local community. This has provided many opportunities over the years for volunteers to be part of the restoration process and to learn why it is important to protect and restore coastal ecosystems. Many volunteers have returned multiple times, becoming key volunteer crew members and team leaders. These volunteers are key to us making a difference.

January 18th, 2020 Restoring the Gold Coast Volunteer Event at Atlantic Dunes Park.

IRC has worked hard to build collaborations with and gain support from many individuals, businesses, and organizations. From providing volunteers, co-hosting events, and providing grants or other funding for volunteer events, we could not have done this work without the continued support of community partners. Thank you to Delray Beach Parks & Recreation, New York Life Foundation, John Campanola, Beach Property Owner's Association, Erin Deady Law, Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, Inc., Coastal Growers, Inc., Tina Pugliese Public Relations, Conduent Foundation, Comcast Cares, Clarkson Alumni, JetBlue, and many more.

George Gann (left) and John Campanola (Right). IRC received a $1,000 Grant from New York Life Foundation in recognition of John Campanola.

In celebration of World Environment Day, the launching of the United Nations 2021-2030 Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, and the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) Make a Difference Week, we have limited registration for our Green Delray restoration event at ADP on Saturday, June 5th. For this event, we plan to continue with invasive plant removal, and add Tephrosia curtissii (Curtiss' hoarypea) (state endangered and IRC critically imperiled) and Dalea floridana (Florida prairieclover) (Federally and state endangered and IRC critically imperiled), which have been grown specially for our Restoring the Gold Coast project by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

What difference will you make? #GenerationRestoration