Palmetto continues to impress with civic improvements. Fresh on the heels of a makeover of the Riverside Park boat ramp and docks after Sutton Park upgrades and completion of the Fifth Street project, the Palmetto Community Redevelopment Agency has big plans brewing for the next five years.
Those include additional redevelopment of Sutton Park, a multimodal trail system and continuing work on the Main Street Complete Street Project.
On a smaller scale, an intriguing and innovative idea for a combination seawall and living shoreline is moving forward. The ground-breaking plan would literally give new life to the seawall, described as "near failure" and "scary."
Before the city can proceed with the trail system, the seawall east and west of the Green Bridge must be repaired, which the city is expediting.
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Since traditional seawalls increase coastal erosion by thwarting the natural tidal process, Palmetto plans to establish a living shoreline that both promotes marine habitat and yields aesthetics.
Once a new seawall is in place, reef balls would be constructed to appear like coral structures to allow for the growth of marine vegetation and attract marine life. Half of the structure would jut out of the water to serve as a home for other plant life, though an artist will paint the dry half to match the surrounding environment.
Reef Ball Foundation Chair Todd Barber, tapped for the project, said: "Palmetto is going to be the lead in this technology that we hope to see spread across the entire Gulf Coast."
What a terrific project and a plum for Palmetto, a city that keeps progressing.