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Wetland Mitigation

Wetland Mitigation: The Project
A New Idea
Moving the Wetland
The Results
Download Brochure (.pdf - Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view)



The Results

The project is a success because the result was a larger, healthier wetland.  Additionally, the survivability rate of all the species exceeded all expectations.  Now a much larger and well functioning ecosystem supports abundant wildlife populations in an urban area.  This project is also a success because it demonstrates what is possible when economic and environmental demands share a high priority.  

"This wetland mitigation project amounts to a 
"net environmental benefit." 
- Southwest Florida Water Management District.

The "new" wetland contains all of the species listed above as well as hundreds of other, such as swamp bays and wax myrtle trees and hundreds of other species.  The scattered ferns and shrubs are now flourishing along with the pickerelweed, spikerush, and fetterbush.  Being so close the highway, the original wetland site was home to only a few species of animals.  The expanded wetland, on any given day, provides habitat for wood stork, tri-colored heron, snowy egret, red-shouldered hawks, sand-hill crane, great blue heron, otter, egret, and wood duck.  Other animals that inhabit the larger wetland include raccoon, armadillo, Florida cooter, and box turtle as well as several species of frogs and fish.  Florida otters also live in the new, expanded wetland.

To truly understand what has been preserved you must see the wetlands in the early light of dawn when the birds are just stirring or see it on a quiet, rainy Saturday afternoon when a woodstork steps away from the edge of marsh having speared a fat fish.  These treasures are now preserved forever for their own value and for the community.  Without this kind of approach, the unproductive wetland could have been destroyed and replaced with immature trees.  In either case, it would take years to generate the kind of habitat which is already in place and already home to abundant wildlife.

The mitigation project was an environmental success for Stephen Dibbs and for those who are interested in protecting Florida while helping to create a thriving economy.  It is testament to those who believe that economic and environmental sustainability must be linked and it provides a demonstration sire for would-be developers, proving that wetlands need not be razed and replaced, but rather can be removed and replanted providing a net environmental benefit for projects and the community. 

Finally and most importantly, the project provides and existing and diverse habitat for urban wildlife, for endangered and protected species and a much needed buffer between homes and a busy, noisy highway.

Innovative approaches such as this are the kinds of methods which developers can implement at no additional cost.  Here, the ecosystem was restored fasted than traditional methods would have allowed, costs were reduced and cooperation was gained.  In doing so, the project embodies the practice of sustainable development in which economic and environmental advantages are closely related.

The Dibbs’ project and approach stand as a testament to the shared interests of conservation and business.  

Download the full brochure: 
Protecting Our Interest, A Visitor's Guide to Alternative Wetlands Protection.
(.pdf -- Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

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