MIAMI-DADE COUNTY – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP)
Division of Law Enforcement recently arrested Gregg Schoener, 50, for the destruction of mangroves.
Schoener is charged with Failure to Comply with Environmental Rules, a first degree misdemeanor
punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine up to $10,000.
“Destroying or harming Florida’s natural resources is a crime and will not be tolerated,” said DEP
Division of Law Enforcement Director Henry Barnet. “Enforcing Florida’s environmental laws is an
important part of DEP’s mission.”
While on patrol on Card Sound Road in Homestead, a DEP agent observed a vessel tied to the
shoreline and stopped to investigate. The agent made contact with Schoener, who admitted to cutting
the mangroves to gain access to and around his vessel. An identification check on Schoener revealed
a warrant for his arrest for an unrelated charge. Schoener was arrested on May 21, 2010, and booked
at the Plantation Key Jail in Monroe County on $5,000 bond.
Environmental crimes are violations of state or federal environmental laws that could impact
public health and the environment, such as illegal mangrove trimming. Mangroves are an important
part of the of the coastal ecosystem providing food, habitat and breeding grounds for fish,
crustaceans and shellfish, nesting and rookeries for coastal birds, filtration for pollutants and
trap sediments, as well as storm protection and shoreline stabilization.
DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement is responsible for statewide environmental resource law
enforcement, as well as providing law enforcement services to Florida’s state parks and greenways
and trails. Division personnel from the three operational bureaus patrol state lands, investigate
environmental resource crimes, and respond to natural disasters, civil unrest, hazardous material
incidents and oil spills that threaten the environment.
To report an environmental crime, wireless customers can dial #DEP. Callers can also report
environmental crimes to the State Warning Point by calling (877) 2-SAVE-FL (1.877.272.8335). General
environmental inquiries should be directed to DEP district offices during normal business hours. For
more information about DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement, visit
Additional information on trimming and altering mangroves may be found in the Department’s
Mangrove Trimming Guidelines for Homeowners at
Residents are encouraged to contact their local DEP Regulatory District Office for more
information on requirements for authorizations or exemptions for mangrove trimming.