TITLE

A WATERSHED ANALYSIS OF PERMITTED COASTAL WETLAND IMPACTS AND MITIGATION ASSESSMENT METHODS WITHIN THE CHARLOTTE HARBOR NATIONAL ESTUARY PROGRAM

AUTHOR(S)
BEEVER III, JAMES W.; GRAY, WHITNEY; COBB, DANIEL; WALKER, TIM
PUB. DATE
March 2013
SOURCE
Florida Scientist;Spring2013, Vol. 76 Issue 2, p310
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
From 2004 to 2008, 1,834 Environmental Resource Permits were issued for development projects in coastal wetlands within the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program. We evaluated 118 sites utilizing three wetland functional assessment methods (WFAMs): Hydrogeomorphic Method (HGM), Wetland Rapid Assessment Procedure (WRAP), and Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM). All functioned as designed and produced similar assessments of wetlands but yielded different mitigation results. The study results showed that HGM was most effective in identifying and quantifying wetland functions of coastal wetlands. UMAM and WRAP are useful but delivered mitigation ratios less than one in both function and area, resulting in net wetland losses. The wetland area lost over the study period was small relative to total wetland area, but the permitted wetland elimination is gradually reducing the extent of wetlands. The process relocates wetland functions out of impacted watersheds toward off-site mitigation areas. The WFAM site evaluations indicated an equal or greater balance of ecosystem functions within the total service area when utilizing off-site mitigation. However, there is loss of wetland area and function in the donor watershed and an increase in function, but not area, of wetlands in the receiving watershed.
ACCESSION #
87631678

 

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