WETLAND MITIGATION & IMPACT ANALYSIS
Role and Function of Wetlands
Wetlands provide vital functions to the natural environment, including groundwater recharge, stormwater attenuation, and wildlife habitat. The purpose of compensatory wetland mitigation, commonly referred to as wetland mitigation, is the replacement of unavoidably lost wetland resources with created or restored wetlands, with the goal of replacing as fully as possible the functions and public benefits of the lost wetland. The Florida Environmental Resource Permit Program regulates activities that alter the landscape and disrupt water flow to wetland areas and surface waters. Applicants may need to take mitigating actions before a permit will be issued. Mitigation refers to actions that offset the adverse impacts the proposed development will have on surface waters and wetlands. Mitigation can include creation, restoration, or enhancement of wetlands or preservation of wetlands or associated uplands.
Impact Analyses and ERP Permit Conditions
Environmental Resource Permits contain conditions that specify allowable wetland impacts and any associated mitigation actions. The department and the districts use mitigation ratio guidelines to establish the amount of mitigation needed to offset a specific impact. Mitigation may include activities on or off of the impacted site. Offsite mitigation options can include mitigation performed offsite by the permittee, donation of funds to offsite regional mitigation areas, or the purchase of mitigation credits. WRMA staff is very well versed in wetlands jurisdictional determination and mapping, and wetlands hydroperiod modeling to assess wetland function for determination of wetlands impacts and preparation of mitigation plans.