Sarasota News Leader

07/26/2013

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BACK TO ITS ROOTS In segment B of the project, crews are creating a new forested swamp that will become home to 200 new pop ash trees, 50 Florida elms and 50 swamp tupelo trees. All photos by Roger Drouin THE NOW HALFWAY-COMPLETED RED BUG SLOUGH WETLAND RESTORATION PROJECT IS DESIGNED TO NATURALLY FILTER POLLUTANTS FROM RAINWATER AT THE 'OASIS' PRESERVE By Roger Drouin County Editor Paul Semenec, a project planner with Sarasota County, stopped to hold a long blade of invasive Cogongrass as he hiked through a soggy Red Bug Slough last week. The grass that has earned a spot on Florida's "noxious weed" list grows rapidly, choking out native grasses and discouraging birds and other wildlife that rely on the natural vegetation. As part of a $1 million wetland restoration at the 72-acre natural preserve nestled between suburban developments surrounding Clark and Beneva Roads, bulldozers have dug up and removed much of the Cogongrass from I would hope in the plans they canal banks and wethave a mechanism for controlling lands. The just-bullinvasives in the future. Very often these dozed canal banks are being reshaped into places can revert to weeds. gently sloping "littoral shelves," where hunJeanne Dubi President dreds of native wetSarasota Audubon land plants such as

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