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Withlacoochee River Drainage Basin

Permitted by SWFWMD & USACOE

State: UMAM, Federal: UMAM

Forested Credits Available

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PROJECT FEATURES

Withlacoochee Wetland Mitigation Bank (WWMB) is located in the north-central portion of Polk County, Florida. The bank site is approximately 750 acres and is within the Withlacoochee River Drainage Basin. The site is in the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern. Current wildlife utilization of the project site include: wood stork, sandhill crane, little blue heron, red-shouldered hawk and various other birds, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, American alligator and other various mammals and reptiles.

The bank site is located proximate to several large tracts of land already protected by the state and it is located within the Green Swamp Florida Forever Board of Trustees project area. An important feature of WWMB is its potential to link several managed areas by providing a protected corridor for wildlife populations.

Studies conducted document the Green Swamp as a mosaic of disturbed upland and wetland parcels intermixed with higher quality wetland forested. The Green Swamp is significant as a strategic hydrologic resource. This area is the headwaters of four major river systems and it is an important aquifer recharge area for the Floridan Aquifer.

RESTORATION AND ENHANCEMENT PLAN

The forests, wetlands and uplands throughout the WWMB site have been impacted by sod production and cattle farming. The overall goal of mitigation activity at WWMB is to restore the native vegetative communities and their associated hydro-periods, increasing wetland hydrologic function and wildlife habitat in the region.

Restoration activities will include:

  1. Provide high quality wildlife habitat within the Green Swamp Wildlife Corridor;
  2. Retain surface water onsite to approximate historical levels;
  3. Restore proper water levels within previously filled wetlands;
  4. Re-establish native vegetative communities;
  5. Promote appropriate groundcover, understory, and tree recruitment; and
  6. Limit the presence of non-native and invasive plant species.

Successful completion of enhancement and restoration objectives will improve habitat quality and suitability for many listed species as well as focal species including bobcat, wild turkey, bald eagle and red-cockaded woodpecker.

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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