Homosassa Restoration Project (HRRP) is a Florida nonprofit, all volunteer, organization. Their mission is to restore and preserve the Homosassa River. At a 90% loss of native vegetation and invasion by Lyngbya algae, the river is in dire need of help.
The goal is to remove the invasive algae and replace the lost vegetation to increase both, water clarity and quality. To do so, the project is to remove decades of accumulated muck and replant native eel grass. Eel grass is considered a “foundation species” for the ecosystem, meaning they create unique habitats for other organisms, provide ecological functions as well as provide a variety of services for humans.
The project volunteers also will maintain the grasses until they are established. Using exclusion cages, the process protects grasses from wildlife while it grows, spreads and reproduces. They recently installed an information sign to educate those recreating on the river about the “cages” in the water. These cages, called herbivory exclusion devices, protect young seagrass from hungry manatees and boat anchors.
How can you help?
Use a shallow water anchor, hydraulic anchor, or mushroom anchor to limit damage to growing grass. Avoid dragging or backing down on your anchor when recreating in the Blue Waters. If you happen to snag a cage, safely swim down and remove your anchor. The manatees will thank you when our river is full of beautiful grass!
Donations are also highly appreciated. The project is 100% volunteer with the day-to-day operations being handled by its Board of Directors for $0 pay. However, when running an organization, some costs cannot be avoided. The grants received to do the cleaning work are spent on cleaning and restoration ONLY. No money makes it back to the fund, the 501c3 and the tools it takes to coordinate/communicate.
Donate here: https://homosassariverrestorationproject.com/donate/