| Special to TCPalm
SEBASTIAN — Oysters, native plants and rocks will have a new place to call home now that a project to shore up the city’s waterfront near Fisherman’s Landing on Indian River Drive will move forward.
The City Council Wednesday approved spending $562,000 for the living-shoreline project, which will protect the riverfront with a sloping area of rocks planted with native shoreline plants.
The money will come from sources including $70,000 from Fisherman’s Landing Inc., a private commercial-fishing operation along the riverfront; and $170,000 from the Florida Inland Navigation District.
The restored habitat not only beautifies the riverfront, it helps protect against erosion and contributes to a healthy riverfront environment, according to Community Development Director Lisa Frazier.
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“This project is a long time coming,” said Frazier. “Fisherman’s Landing was part of the Stan Mayfield Working Waterfront program that was originally started in 2010. Shoreline protection is one of the last nuggets.”
The improved riverfront will protect the historic Hurricane Harbor building on the site, which includes Crabby Bill’s fish market and restaurant and a small museum about the history of commercial fishing in Sebastian, she said.
It will also include improvements to parking for the commercial fishermen who bring their catch ashore at the Working Waterfront.
Vice Mayor Jim Hill said he found the living-shoreline improvements a positive development in the evolution of the Working Waterfront.
“I’ve been involved with this Fisherman’s Landing project since its inception,” said Hill. “It’s going to be exciting to see the parking area taken care of and the shoreline restoration. From the beginning, the idea of this was to help revitalize the riverfront district.
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“It’s a wonderful place to go and walk on a Saturday or Sunday or even a Monday or Tuesday,” Hill said. “There are so many wonderful businesses and great restaurants and little boutiques down there now. The transformation that the city of Sebastian has made in the CRA and riverfront district is astounding.
“To see this thing come to fruition,” he said, “is super exciting.”
Janet Begley is a local freelance writer. If you like articles like this and other TCPalm coverage of Treasure Coast news, please support our journalism and subscribe now.