GWJax and JU Capture Baseline Data for Ongoing McCoys Creek Fish Study

GWJax has partnered with Jacksonville University Marine Science Institute on a fish study to determine the impact creek restoration will have on fish populations in McCoys Creek. The study is being funded as part of a grant from NOAA that Groundwork secured last year to complete Phase 2 of the McCoys Creek restoration design, including daylighting the creek under the former Florida Times-Union.

The purpose of this study is to document the environmental conditions and fish, invertebrate and plant species present in the creek prior to the restoration that will begin later this year. This study provides a quantitative baseline of the creek’s health for comparison.

The expectation is that restoring the creek will promote Atlantic sturgeon, summer flounder, sheepshead, red drum, pink shrimp, brown shrimp, white shrimp, American shad, and American eel populations.

Last fall Dr. Quinton White, executive director of the Jacksonville University Marine Science Research Institute and Dr. Daniel McCarthy, professor of biology and director of the MSC undergraduate program, enlisted the help of marine biology students to collect samples from the creek bottom (benthic) and submerged aquatic vegetation.