Canopy Shores Park
About Canopy Shores Park
Canopy Shores Park is a 33 acre site located within the St. Augustine Shores Planned Unit Development (PUD) located off US 1. Direct access to the site is provided off Shores Blvd. on to Christina Dr. and this site lies across the street from the St. Augustine Shores's Riverview Club property.
As the name implies, Canopy Shores Park is filled with majestic canopy oak trees defined by three distinct vegetative communities, hydric hammock, estuarine tidal marsh and floodplain swamp. The hydric hammock vegetative community dominates the majority of this site (27 acres), consisting of dense, mature canopy of live oaks, laural oaks and red cedar containing an understory of yaupon holly and cabbage palm. Along the eastern portion of the site lies ground cover material consisting of Spanish needles, American beauty berry and blackberry, while the western area contains a dense cover of saw palmetto, sparkle berry, deer berry and wild petunia.
Environment & Species
The floodplain swamp, consisting of 3.5 acres, lies adjacent to the man-made creek that bisects the site from the Matanzas River inland to the southwest. Along the southern creek edge, the floodplain swamp is filled with dense lizard trails, marsh pennywort, buttonbush, netted chain fern and wax myrtle.
2.5 acres of estuarine tidal marsh vegetation lies along the Matanzas River edge and is defined by the sea oxeye daisy, needle rush and cord grass. The majority of the wildlife species located on this site are located in the estuarine tidal marsh vegetation area and the species observed include bald eagle, brown pelican, least tern, yellow crowned night heron, reddish egret, snowy egret, tri-colored heron and white ibis.
Since Canopy Shores eastern boundary is defined by the Matanzas River, it lies within an archaeological high probability area and contains one shell midden (SJO3169) according to the master site file.
The Intracoastal Waterway
Because this project site is located on the Intracoastal Waterway, it is another piece of a massive puzzle that interconnects federal, state and local initiatives to preserve, protect and maintain the natural resources (vegetative communities, wildlife habitat, improve water quality and protect shellfish harvesting areas) along the Intracoastal Waterway. The federal initiative is being pursued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and is administered through the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in the implementation of the Guana, Tolomato, Matanzas (GTM) National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) Management Plan. Other State initiatives being pursued by DEP and the SJRWMD include the GTM Water Quality Task Force and Northern Coastal Basins Program, respectively.
In addition, Duval County's Northeast Blueway Phase I – Pablo Creek CARL application was approved by the Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC) in 2000 as a Category A project and St. Johns County's Northeast Blueway Phase II – Tolomato and Matanzas Rivers Florida Forever (FF) application was approved by ARC in 2001. Through these programs and initiatives the federal, state and local agencies are coordinating to implement the mutual goals of preservation, protection and maintenance of the natural resources along the Intracoastal Waterway.