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Waccasassa Basin

Permitted by FDEP & USACOE

State (UMAM) & Federal (UMAM) Credits Available;

Freshwater Herbacous, Freshwater Forested and Saltmarsh

 

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PROJECT FEATURES

Florida Gulf Coast Mitigation Bank is located in the Levy County, Florida adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. The 1587.5 acre bank is one of the last remaining large parcels of privately owned land with a significant and unique expanse of pristine coastal marsh on the west coast of Florida. The protection and enhancement of this area will provide an almost continuous stretch of conservation land along the northern Gulf Coast. This site is strategically located adjacent to the Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve, the Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park, the Lower Waccasassa Conservation Area, the Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve, and the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge. Once protected, the FGCMB will add nearly two miles of undeveloped Gulf of Mexico coastal frontage to these already established conservation lands. Included within the FGCMB are many diverse types of freshwater, saltwater, and upland communities including expansive salt marshes, oyster beds, and open water stretches interspersed with an archipelago of small islands.

This location provides habitat to many protected, threatened, and endangered species, such as the gulf sturgeon, smalltooth sawfish, Florida salt marsh vole, bald eagle, Florida scrub-jay, eastern indigo snake, Omate diamondback terrapin, gulf salt marsh mink, black bear, osprey, gopher tortoise, and other birds, reptiles, and small mammals.

Recently, the Caber Coastal Connection study also recognized the FGCMB as a critical acquisition necessary to address the challenges of global climate change and potential sea level rise. For this reason, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of State Lands (DSL) ranked The Caber Coastal Connection as number 2 in a list of potential Climate Change Land Projects in the state. The proposed protection and improvements will be beneficial in maintaining the ecological health

FGMB RESTORATION AND ENHANCEMENT PLAN

A detailed construction, phasing, implementation, and monitoring plan has been developed to establish baseline conditions as well as record and report monitoring conditions that would establish project success for an array of habitat communities occurring within the site.

The primary components for implementation of the FGCMB site will include four (4) major activities: 1) protect the site be placing it under a Conservation Easement; 2) remove exotic and invasive species, by hand or by herbicide application; 3) replace roads and culverts with low-water crossings (LWCs); and, 4) implement a native/historic prescribed fire program for upland areas.

Recently, the Caber Coastal Connection study also recognized the FGCMB as a critical acquisition necessary to address the challenges of global climate change and potential sea level rise. For this reason, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of State Lands (DSL) ranked The Caber Coastal Connection as number 2 in a list of potential Climate Change Land Projects in the state. The proposed protection and improvements will be beneficial in maintaining the ecological health.

testimonial

Audubon of Florida is pleased to count Mitigation Marketing as one of our partners in conservation in Florida. We have found Mitigation Marketing to be a true innovator in the mitigation industry. Dennis Benbow and his staff are pioneering important efforts in both the Wetlands and Conservation banking fields. Mitigation Marketing is demonstrating that carefully thought out Wetlands and Conservation mitigation banks can be an important factor in the effort to conserve and restore many thousands of acres of what is best in Florida’s wildlife habitats and natural resources.

Charles Lee
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