Capstone Title

Wetlands Mitigation Report for City Centre Port St. Lucie, Florida

Defense Date

1991

Document Type

Capstone

Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management

First Advisor

Richard E. Dodge

Second Advisor

Curtis Burney

Abstract

This paper is written as a consultant's report to a client for submittal to the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Councils (TCRPC) describing the design of a wetland construction and planting. The wetland planting is required by the TCRPC to mitigate a site that the developer altered resulting in the unpermitted destruction of an existing wetland. The wetland is to be installed on the property referred to as the City Centre site located in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Prior to 1987 the property consisted of a ditch containing freshwater wetland vegetation. The developer (owner) of the City Centre site had the ditch filled with clean sand thereby destroying the existing, wetland.

The TCRPC has the authority to require mitigation under their rules and requirements as part of a Development Order. The developer of the City Centre site must comply with all the stipulations of the Development Order, or development of the property could be stopped by the state. At this time, the TCRPC has required a 3.25 acre area to be converted into wetlands. The wetland planting is to be followed by a program to assure an 80 per cent survival rate of the wetland vegetation for two years.

Wetlands are valuable natural resources. The values of wetlands are numerous and include (not in the order of relative importance) their ability to provide wildlife habitat, water quality improvement, natural shoreline stabilization against erosion and flooding, food chain support, aquifer recharge and discharge, biological productivity, nutrient recycling, recreational space, educational opportunity and aesthetic beauty. Wetlands are some of the most valuable ecosystems on this planet in that they provide support to both humans and natural systems.

Due mostly to economic reasons, wetlands were being destroyed at the alarmingly rapid rate in this country of one percent per year until federal legislation was enacted early in the 1970's to restrict development (including dredging and filling activities) of these areas.

The importance of the City Centre planting activities is that a law requires that a destroyed wetland area must be replaced. The law requires that damaged wetland areas be replaced because the values of wetland areas are finally being realized by the public.

Appendix 1 of this report briefly describes wetlands, including a description of their ecological function, their values and uses. Appendix 2 briefly describes several freshwater wetland systems that have already been designed, permitted, and in some cases installed for similar wetland mitigation projects in southeast Florida. Appendix 3 describes the drainage design for the City Centre project and includes information about historical rainfall in the vicinity of the project site. Appendix 4 gives information about the anti-erosion product proposed for the project (Soil Anti-Wash/Geojute). Appendix 5 contains a description of the wetland plants chosen for the City Centre plantings.

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