Environmental Consulting & Design - Gainesville, FL
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Ortona Sand Mine Mitigation
Glades & Hendry Counties, Florida


In 2011, EC&D secured state and federal wetland permits for the Ortona Sand Mine in Glades County, Florida. In response to permit requirements for a compensatory mitigation plan to offset wetland impacts at the mine site expansion area, EC&D coordinated a public-private partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to participate in an offsite environmental restoration project at the  Spirit-of-the-Wild Wildlife Management Area (SWWMA).  Restoration work focused on the removal of Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia), and caesar weed (Urena lobata), all nuisance exotics that heavily infest the SWWMA.


For the restoration effort, EC&D is coordinating the ongoing herbicide treatment of 160 acres within the 7,500+ acre SWWMA and is conducting vegetation monitoring for five years to document recovery of native plant communities.  The initial herbicide treatment is augmented with twice yearly follow-up treatments to eradicate new seedlings.  Vegetation monitoring will continue twice yearly for a minimum of five years.  Success criteria call for at least 80 percent cover by herbaceous wetland species and less than five percent cover by Category I and II invasive exotic plant species.