Ms. Colbert was project manager working to restore the Pal Mar East/Nine Gems parcel, a 2,886-acre parcel located in southern Martin County between County Road 711 and Florida’s Turnpike. A portion of the site is being restored by the SFWMD in cooperation with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), through funding under the Wetland Restoration Program. The objective of the project is to enhance and restore lost hydrologic and biologic function to a mosaic of flatwoods, wet prairie, depressional marshes and sloughs that had been drained and disturbed for both native range and improved pasture cattle grazing. The entire site will be managed by the Florida Fish Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) after project completion, as part of the Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental Area.
Ms. Colbert worked with the project engineer to prepare restoration design plans, specifications and construction cost estimates for the project. This included coordination with the NRCS to ensure that restoration practices are proposed in accordance with NRCS standards and specifications. Ms. Colbert also prepared and obtained permits for the project from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for wetland and listed species habitat restoration. Restoration activities for the site include invasive species control, prescribed burning and hydrology modifications (ditch plugs) to restore hydrology and habitat. Regionally, the purchase of Pal-Mar East by SFWMD provides the central link in a 125,000 acre greenbelt extending from Jonathan Dickinson Park to the DuPuis Management area that will ultimately connect to the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail via a mile-wide corridor. Pal-Mar East encompasses most of the lands that are missing to complete the wildlife and water management corridor, and restoration efforts on this site are being conducted in concert with the North Palm Beach County CERP project. Ms. Colbert's work on the Pal-Mar East/Nine Gems Wetland Restoration project is being conducted through a multi-year continuing services land management contract with the SFWMD.
From the personal portfolio of Gisele Colbert