Wetland regulation in South Florida is spread across multiple agencies and multiple jurisdictions requiring environmental professionals to know the requirements at each level in order to successfully navigate through the extensive regulatory permitting process. Wetland permitting requires multiple tasks such as delineating jurisdictional wetlands within a project study area, assessing impacts, designing compensatory mitigation plans to offset unavoidable impacts, coordinating with appropriate regulatory agencies, and monitoring construction activities to ensure permit compliance. Case studies from the private sector show that the current wetland permitting system is flawed due to (1) weakened agency oversight due to streamlining efforts, (2) errors in jurisdictional delineation methods, (3) lack of accountability for addressing cumulative impacts, (4) abuse of compensatory mitigation as a safety net investment, and (5) price being the major factor in the evaluation of contractors bidding on public projects. These issues must be addressed to improve wetland protection in South Florida and will require contributions from all sectors.
Tust, Michael, "Wetland regulation in South Florida: an environmental consultant's perspective." (2009). Internship Reports (Restricted). 247.
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