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Resource protection through wetland and submerged lands permitting, compliance and enforcement comprises one of the major roles of this program along with assuring that the public interest tests are met for regulatory and proprietary issues involving submerged lands.


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Program Administrator:

Megan Mills
(239) 344-5670




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- New - Navigational Dredging Permits Zone Locations

The Environmental Resource Permitting section, the Coastal and Aquatic Management section, the West Coast Inland Navigation District (WCIND), and Lee County have been formulating a new Noticed General Permit to allow dredging within existing navigational channels within Lee County.  These projects are targeted to allow best access to the majority of boats documented to use the particular navigational area.  These navigational areas are defined as "trafficsheds" and "secondary channel segments".  Because WCIND is vested with addressing navigational concerns for the general public, only those traffic sheds and secondary channel segments which provide public access to public facilities such as boat ramps and marinas could be considered under this proposal. 

Some of the trafficsheds and secondary channel segments are located with the Charlotte Harbor, Pine Island, Matlacha Pass, and the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserves.  These Aquatic Preserves are areas of submerged state lands set aside for preservation and are given the highest protection under state law.  Project within the aquatic preserves must demonstrate that they are clearly in the public interest, that is, they have an overall benefit to the enjoyment and protection of the natural resources of the waterbody.  To that end, the WCIND in cooperation with Lee County, has proposed to designate and mark four areas within the aquatic preserves as No Internal Combustion Engine Zones.  These Zones would be open to non-motorized vessels, such as canoes, kayaks, or fishing boats using electric trolling motors.  These Zones have been located in areas that generally have shallow water and seagrasses and are showing signs of propeller damage to the seagrasses.  By limiting propeller navigation in these areas, it is hoped that natural recruitment and growth of seagrass will allow recovery from propeller damage.

These maps describe the locations of the No Internal Combustion Engine Zones.  There are two in Estero Bay, one in Pine Island Sound, and one in Matlacha Pass.

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Last updated: October 24, 2016
  South District, 2295 Victoria Avenue, Fort Myers, Florida 33901 239-344-5600 / 850-412-0590(fax) / SouthDistrict@dep.state.fl.us
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