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.
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.
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
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."
two of the Project includes enhancing the stormwater functions of the