Final Phase of Critical Restoration Work Complete at Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park's
May of 2020 saw the completion of the final phase of restoration at Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park's former Port Bougainville site. This project represents the dedication of many representatives, non-profits, land managers, and citizens who have insisted on the preservation of The Real Florida.
When originally purchased in the 1980s, construction of a large marina, hotels, and housing had already been initiated on the site. Restoration began in 1994 with the goal of returning coastal hammock and wetlands “as closely as possible to the original habitat composition.” Federal, state, and county partners cooperated to remove old buildings and fill deep-water channels, gradually eliminating potential sources of water pollution. Meanwhile, citizen and volunteer organizations reforested the site with native plantings for the benefit of local fish and wildlife.
The Department of Environmental Protection prioritizes the improvement and preservation of Florida’s water quality for the benefit of our residents and visitors, especially in critical habitats like those found throughout North Key Largo. Port Bougainville’s legacy exemplifies the success of these efforts in improving the health of our marine resources, including offshore seagrass meadows and delicate coral reef ecosystems.
At completion over 35 acres of disturbed land have been restored. This final phase of restoration required 24,600 tons of clean fill to be placed and graded for the entrance channel for the former marina. The volunteers for the park's native plant nursery have plans to continue planting where needed to restore the open spaces left by the work.