Carpenter Creek

Carpenter Creek Watershed Restoration is an integrated approach to environmental restoration including integrated sciences, education for the public and students, and economic benefits for the community. The project will positively impact a key part of the Escambia County watershed and improve the region’s economic resiliency. There are many opportunities for the public to be involved.


The project will restore an impaired urban creek to normal ecological function and thus the ecological services it imparts in the watershed. Goals includes: 1) reduce pathogens and pollutants entering the watershed; 2) institute best practices for managing non-point source pollution.


The proposed project will benefit a 5-mile long, meandering urban creek and the 5-mile long urban bayou fed by it. The creek is fragmented by more than ten culverts and five bridges. Each fragment carries a mixture of nutrients, sediments, and invasive species (seeds). The development along the watershed predates the current science/land development codes for low lying areas and riparian zones.

The project will identify where run-off is occurring, study, document, and restore the natural vegetative buffers that contribute to the natural function of the creek system.


Logging efforts during the early timber days served to shift the natural landscape from upland Longleaf Pine, American Beech, Cedars, Junipers, Sweet Gum, Sweet Bay, Black Gum, Gall Berry, and Dogwood to a mixture of low quality species found today which include a mixture, of opportunistic Laurel Water Oaks, Popcorn, Privet, and Slash and Sand Pine.

Habitat loss contributes to habitat degradation over time with negative impacts on fisheries, impaired biological structure, and reduction of property values from fish kills, and loss of recreation in the bayou which once held water sky competitions and other sports.


  1. Water Quality Restoration
  2. Habitat Restoration
  3. Habitat Conservation, Wildlife Corridors, and Ecological Restoration
  4. Natural System Resiliency Established and Maintained


Multiple Phased Project

  1. Overall assessment of the condition of the watershed
  2. Compare data from assessment with past data to correlated land use changes over times.
    • Develop models which correlate with nutrient loads and general system buffering
    • Step II data will be used to design the components of the restoration plan.
  3. Three-fold Construction Implemented
      • Increase the vegetative buffer along all banks from headwaters with native species.
      • Identify areas for access among big box stores between Bayou Blvd. and 12th (This is a living laboratory for the public in science, history, and natural history interpretation and learning and public restoration participation.
  4. Implement and continue monitoring to enhance awareness and education.


Industry and Business Growth

Step III of the project includes a boardwalk located behind large box stores on Bayou Blvd. The boardwalk with kiosks might serve light foods or exhibit and sell artistic wares, and/ provide archeological opportunities. The boardwalk could be constructed of TREX decking, manufactured from recycled plastic bags. This is a potential opportunity for a new business to help the county meet the 2020 state of Florida goal in which each county must recycle paper, plastic, and glass. With projects that will be using such decking, its possible such a business might relocate here to provide the decking materials.

Transportation Network Improvements

The project can expand opportunities for the public to view wildlife by adding public access points along the creek. Overlooks with seating, and educational signage with lightening can offer the public new areas to explore, learn, and relax.

Health Benefits and Impacts

Keeping the water quality high improves recreational opportunities which at present are limited due to rain events that cause the spillage to spread through the watershed with resulting health impacts. Multiple venues are regularly limited by high fecal content in the watershed especially where homes with septic are located on the creek and bayou.

Flooding Mitigation

In a well-functioning watershed ecosystem, rainfall percolates into the soil through root tunnels and is slowed and thus better absorbed into the soil with a vegetative berm.  

Workforce Development Potential

The project curricula support high school science, trade schools, and higher education with topics and practical experience in ecology, geology, geographic, topographic, and biological functions to provide Coastal Plain Restoration Techniques.

Learn More

If  you would like to volunteer for a project please fill out the form below

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