UF biological station in Cedar Key battens down the hatches for incoming storm

Researchers and lab assistants at the UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station located in Cedar Key spent the day securing the facility as Tropical Storm Eta is poised to make landfall there later tonight.

The station sits on the shoreline on 1st Street in Downtown Cedar Key. Station Director and Professor of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Director Micheal Allen said his team of 10 scientists and research assistants spent the day, “getting everything up stairs and getting vehicles moved.”

The staff fills any large tanks with water to weight them down and takes the electronic equipment and pumps to the second floor as they anticipate storm surge to enter the bottom floor of the facility.

“Everything is on rolling carts,” Allen said so it takes them about one full day to get ready for major storms.

“Everybody showed up wearing masks and moved it upstairs,” Allen said.

Allen said he doesn’t anticipate the storm affecting a current feeding study of live stone crabs in progress.

But Allen said the team just hauled in sand and planted vegetation as part of a living shoreline project located off Airport Road.

“Our biggest concern is stabilizing the shoreline at Airport Road and G street,” Allen said about the impact the storm and surge may have on their efforts.

“We just hauled in sand that it  hasn’t’ gotten the vegetation set yet,” Allen said. “We’re hoping it won’t flood.”

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