FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WETLANDS RESTORATION AT GARCON POINT ENHANCED BY MITIGATION BANK
Pensacola, Fla. – With restoration of plant and animal habitat – mostly wetlands, pine flatwoods, and native prairie – on 1205 acres in Santa Rosa County underway for nearly two years, Pensacola Bay Mitigation Bank (PBMB), a project by private mitigation company Westervelt Ecological Services, has been approved by agencies with the first issue of credits now available.
Contiguous to the Florida Forever Acquisition Area called Garcon Ecosystem Preserve, PBMB’s location on The Garcon Peninsula contains some of the best pitcher plant prairies remaining in Florida; the Florida Forever Garcon Ecosystem project is charged with protecting and expanding these prairies. The carnivorous white-topped pitcher plant, a state endangered plant species is located and protected within the mitigation bank. This project makes a significant contribution to the viability of the Garcon project by increasing the size of the preserve by approximately 15% of the proposed 7735-acre ecosystem preserve.
The service area for the Pensacola Bay Mitigation Bank includes a portion of three watersheds inEscambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties. The vast majority of PBMB’s service area is constituted by the Pensacola Bay watershed, as this is where the property is physically located. Small portions of the Escambia watershed (north of Pensacola and west of Milton) and the Blackwater River watershed (which includes Milton) complete the overall service area.
Environmental regulatory agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission must approve a formal mitigation bank.
Mitigation banks provide enhanced environmental benefit over smaller, piece-mill mitigation and retain inherent biological, financial and legal assurances to ensure mitigation success. Economic advantages recognized by public and private sector developers include economies of scale, reduced permitting time and costs, and severance of liability.
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About Westervelt Ecological Services: Providing conservation on a landscape scale is the mission of Westervelt Ecological Services. A division of The Westervelt Company, a 125 year-old Tuscaloosa, Ala.., organization of land stewards, Westervelt Ecological Services offers mitigation banking solutions for developers and businesses who need to mitigate impacts on wetlands or species. To learn more visit www.wesmitigation.com.