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Wetland Mitigation

Wetland Mitigation: The Project
A New Idea
Moving the Wetland
The Results
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Moving the Wetland

Moving a mature wetland of this size is highly unusual.  Apart from meeting the environmental criteria of four government agencies (which frequently conflict), the property owner had to meet his own high standards.  After all, his home is adjacent to the site.

A major excavation was undertaken in which thousands of mature cypress tress were removed and relocated to the new site.  Larger trees were placed in the center while allowing the younger specimens room to grow along the outer regions of the replanted areas.  Thousands of adult cypress trees were transplanted along with numerous other tree species such as laurel oak, American elm, red maple, and dahoon holly.  Other vegetation, which only consisted of a few scattered ferns, pickerelweed and shrubs, were transplanted as well.  A six to twelve-inch mulch base, taken form the impacted wetland, was placed at the new site to provide speedy groundcover regeneration.  This also provided a barrier of protection form rapid growth of nuisance species.  Trained, professional biologists designed and supervised the project along with an engineering firm.  The entire site was designed to exactly duplicate the varied elevations found in the original location.  More than 200 species of plants, including the endangered royal fern and cardinal flower, were included.

To protect the land from future pollution, a drainage system bordering the wetland was designed and constructed in such a way as to process the excess water through a detainment pond.  One area was constructed as a border for the detainment pond serves as a natural filter while a silt screen removes excess sedimentation, which can be harmful.

This project was designed in two phases, the first included among other things, moving and establishing the wetland.  In the past year, the wetland has been regularly maintained and is doing very well.  The government agencies require a 70 percent survival rate to declare a wetland mitigation project a "success.In this case, the project has a 99% survival rate.  That means 99 percent of what was planted is alive, well and contributing to a vibrant, enhanced ecosystem.  The Southwest Florida Water Management District refers to this as a "net environmental benefit."

Phase two of the Project includes enhancing the stormwater functions of the property. 



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