this case, the nearly 10 acres of wetlands on the property had varying
levels of health, size, nuisance plants and urban wildlife.
The unhealthiest of the wetland stands was located right in the
middle of the most desirable location for development.
But wetland protection laws do not split fine hairs among these or
other factors. And each of the
governments responsible for protecting wetlands has different rules.
matters, the involved government agencies couldn’t decide which would
actually be responsible for supervising any wetland activity.
the Southwest Florida Water Management District, a regulatory agency and
special district covering sixteen counties of west, central Florida was
determined as the permitting agency. Through
its regulatory program, the District is able to encourage, support and when
necessary, enforce those actions which protect environmental resources
within its jurisdiction including wetlands.
property’s owner considers himself an environmentalist.
As a native Floridian, he’s seen lots of changes over time, not all
of them good. He has a personal
concern for the unique birds and plants which live in wetlands.
But he had also invested a lot of money in the property and wanted to
maximize his investment.
he looked at the various wetland stands on the property, he had an idea.
If he could take most of the bits and pieces of the wetlands on his
property and put them in a better location, he could create something
special- fully functional wetlands in the middle of a highly developed
community. To accomplish this,
however, he would have to move the wetland at the front of the property,
nearer to the back.
do this, a mature, open, forested wetland exceeding five acres would have
to be moved from one location on the property to another.
If it worked, there would be lots of benefits:
Improved wetland function
A noise barrier for residential areas nearby
Additional habitat for endangered and protected
species and urban wildlife
Improvements for downstream conditions
Improvement in the 100 year flood plain
No waiting period while the wetland matures
Improved drainage for the area
Improved water quality
Enhanced recharge capability for water supply
Fair development of an economically-desirable
Eliminated secondary wetland impacts