- Located: Withlacoochee Basin
- Permitted by SWFWMD & USACOE
- Forested Credits Available
Green Swamp Mitigation Bank is located in the north-central portion of Polk County, Florida. The bank site is approximately 640 acres and is within the Withlacoochee River Drainage Basin. Significant habitat within the project site is suitable for: the Florida sand hill crane and wood stork, as well as an extensive wading bird population, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, American alligator and other various mammals and reptiles.
The project site encompasses a variety of upland and wetland habitat communities that are of regional significance. The site location is hydro-logically and ecologically connected to the Withlacoochee River System through the Smokey Sutton Canal, which traverse the west potion of the project site. The extensive Green Swamp ecosystem is a critical head water tributary to four major rivers: Ocklawaha River, Withlacoochee River, Hillsborough River, and the Peace River. Furthermore, the Green Swamp ecosystem is identified as an Outstanding Florida Water (OFW).
GSMB RESTORATION AND ENHANCEMENT PLAN
Restoration and enhancement of GSMB includes the following major activities:
- Revised conservation easement redecoration;
- Hydro-logic enhancement through ditch-blocks, constructing low water crossings, thereby re-establishing direct hydro-logic connection within wetland systems both onsite and offsite;
- Removal of cattle; enhancement of vegetation within areas utilized for pastureland activities; and
- Implementation of a native/historic prescribed fire program. As a result, the subject area, as well as Green Swamp and the Floridian Aquifer, will receive hydro-logic and vegetative enhancement.
Fire suppression has resulted in a shift in vegetation community structure that is not indicative of native/historic composition. An important element of the ecological integrity of the site is the prescribed fire plan. Re-introduction of prescribed fire will result in immediate ecological lift and will enhance a degrading variety of ecosystems.
The fully implemented GSMB project site will continue to provide a regionally significant habitat corridor in the Green Swamp/ Withlacoochee River Drainage Basin. Enhancement of the vegetative community within the upland will provide an important link between habitats within an area that is largely void of vegetation due to land management practices.