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Corner tab of content windowSoutheast District ERP Program -  Frequently Asked Questions

 

Where can I obtain a wetland permit application?

  • Applications can be picked up in person at the following Southeast District (SED) offices.

    • Main Southeast District Office - 400 North Congress Avenue, 3rd Floor,  West Palm Beach, Florida 33401. Phone (561) 681-6600

    • Fort Pierce Branch Office - 337 N. U.S. Hwy 1, Suite 307, Ft. Pierce, Florida 34952.  Phone (772) 467-5500 

    • Okeechobee Field Office - 3800 NW 16th Blvd, Okeechobee, Florida 34972.  Phone (863) 462-5891

       

    Applications can also be downloaded at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wetlands/erp/forms.htm.  Additional wetland infromation is available at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wetlands/erp/index.htm.

What rules are used in determining whether there are wetlands on my property?

  • For regulatory purposes, the boundaries of a wetland are determined by looking for indicators that show the influence of water.  Some of the indicators are wetland plants, hydric or wetland soils and hydrological indicators.  Any two of these three indicators can be used to determine the presence of a wetland.  Using these indicators, a line, known as a wetland delineation, can be drawn between wetlands and uplands.  Instructions for determining wetland boundaries are found in Section 62-340.300 of the Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.).  Florida's wetland definition and method of delineating wetlands are used by all state agencies in Florida.  The FDEP recommends that a property owner hire an environmental consultant to "walk" the property and identify the boundaries of wetlands.  The consultant should prepare a survey or sketch identifying the locations and sizes of the wetlands located on the property.

 

How can I find out of there are wetlands on my property?

  • The FDEP can, if a request is made by a lot owner, do a formal jurisdictional determination (cost associated, but legally binding) or an informal jurisdiction (lower cost than formal jurisdictional determination, but not legally binding and dependent upon staff availability) to determine which portions of a lot are wetlands.  It is important to point out that other government agencies, such as the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), use slightly different definitions of wetlands, which may result in minor deviations of the wetland delineation.  For the most part, the agencies try to work together on this issue to reduce the frustrations for the applicant.  Potential lot purchasers are encouraged to work with the lot owner to go through this process on their behalf or to contact an environmental consultant prior to purchase in order to obtain a wetland delineation.

 

When do I need to do mitigation?

  • If construction activities result in unavoidable impacts to isolated wetlands greater than 4,000 square feet (no longer qualifies for the Noticed General Permit) or any unavoidable impacts to connected wetlands.

 

What can I do to mitigate or offset the wetland impacts from my proposed project?

  • On Site:

  • Preservation of the remaining undisturbed or un-impacted wetlands through a conservation easement (deed restriction prohibiting any dredging or filling within this area)

  • Enhancement or restoration of existing wetlands through exotic removal, hydrologic improvements or planting of native wetland plants

  • Creation of a new wetland by scraping down an upland and planting native wetland plants

  • Off Site:

    • Enhancement, restoration or creation of wetlands owned or controlled by the applicant or local government

    • Work with a city or county to enhance, restore or create wetlands on public property

    • Purchase additional land to perform some enhancement, restoration, preservation or creation of wetlands

    • Purchase credits from a mitigation bank that services the area

     

Why does the FDEP protect wetlands?

  • For many years, people thought of wetlands as soggy, useless land.  People believed it was better to drain wetlands so crops could be grown, or filled so people could build on the land.  Wetlands even seemed to be a great spot to use as a garbage dump because it was easy to dump and fill.  Now, people are trying to save and protect wetlands because we understand why they are important.

  • Many animals depend on wetlands for some part of their life cycle.

  • Wetland plants are productive and support a rich web of life, from simple molds to mammals.

  • Wetlands provide food and shelter for fish, birds and other animals.

  • Wetlands provide flood control by soaking up rainwater.

  • Wetlands make the water clearer and filter out things that degrade water quality, such as chemical pollution.

  • Wetlands help filter and retain stormwater runoff.

  • Some wetlands provide a recreational element for people (fishing, hunting, air boating, kayaking, canoeing, boating and bird watching).

 

 

 

 

Last updated: May 29, 2014
  Southeast District 400 North Congress Avenue, 3rd Floor, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401   (561) 681-6600 (phone) / (561) 681-6755 (fax)
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