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Florida Ecological Restoration Inventory Purpose and History

Purpose and History
 

Purpose:

The purpose of the Florida Ecological Restoration Inventory (FERI) is to provide access to this inventory of ecological restoration projects via the internet. FERI on-line is an interactive query, mapping, and analysis tool that allows a user to locate planned, needed, or completed ecological restoration projects within an area of interest in Florida. This information will further the practice and science of restoration and assist agencies and practitioners during restoration planning and implementation. Industry, consultants, and agencies will be greatly served by a publicly accessible database containing profiles of specific restoration projects. This database will minimize overlapping research and maximize data availability and greatly assist State and Federal agency personnel in their rule-making and enforcement activities. As more database information becomes available, reliance on restoration technologies will continue to grow in Florida, and associated private industries are anticipated to grow correspondingly and benefit from this inventory as well. This project is intended to result in improved access to data that will aid regulators in minimizing costs while maximizing ecosystem function on disturbed lands.

History:

A project inventorying restoration needs on state lands was completed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Ecosystem Management in 1998. The Restoration Inventory of State Lands approached land managers of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Office of Aquatic and Managed Areas and Division of Recreation and Parks, Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services Division of Forestry, and Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission Division of Wildlife to identify restoration needs on conservation lands.

A spatial database of restoration sites was created using GPS data collection and GIS mapping layers. Attribution for each proposed restoration site included designating a project number, a project name, a description of the scope of the project, the existing habitat coverage and the restoration target habitat coverage, and, where applicable, acreage. The wetland restoration of traditional mitigation was included in the inventory, as well as upland natural community restoration, exotic species removal, and ecological protection projects that are representative of the greater challenge of ecosystem management.

The GeoIndex Program, a MapObjects GIS application, was developed to allow easy and informative querying of this inventory. This application and supporting data was distributed to permitters and planners in state agencies to serve as a tool in the identification and designation of mitigation projects and was distributed to state agencies. The Restoration Inventory of State Lands was originally funded by an ISTEA grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.

In 2000, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Bureau of Sumberged Lands and Environmental Resources obtained a grant to update the database, expand the inventory to other agencies (hence the name change to Florida Ecological Restoration Inventory), and make the database searchable over the internet. These pages of the Florida Ecological Restoration Inventory are a component of Intergrating Florida Wetlands into A Statewide Ecological Restoration Program providing a compilation of the locations of current and proposed restoration activities within Florida.

Last updated: September 21, 2011

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