USA: Restoration Project to Serve as Regional Prototype
Under the Clean Water Act of 1972, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for regulating dredge and fill activities in waters of the United States, including jurisdictional freshwater and tidal wetlands.
Some minor activities, such as aquatic habitat restoration, boat ramp construction, agricultural activities and modifications to existing marinas may be authorized through a general permit, which may be issued on a nationwide or regional basis for projects that are substantially similar in nature and are anticipated to cause only minimal or no individual or cumulative impacts.
There are currently more than 50 Nationwide Permits available to authorize a variety of activities. Nationwide Permit (NWP) 27 specifically authorizes aquatic habitat restoration, establishment and enhancement activities, and it was this general permit, issued by Linda Elligott, project manager in the Fort Myers Regulatory Office, that authorized a unique hydrologic and habitat restoration project in Charlotte County.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Program and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have partnered for the past decade to complete several habitat restoration projects on more than 4,000 acres of state-owned land within the Charlotte Harbor watershed. Two large-scale projects, the Alligator Creek Habitat Restoration Project and the Coral Creek Ecosystem Restoration Project, are currently under way, and are anticipated to provide a net benefit to regional aquatic resources and wildlife by restoring historic hydroperiods and overland sheetflow, improving water quality, enhancing shallow water habitat for the endangered Wood Stork, and providing an overall improvement to essential fish habitat in estuarine waters.
The SWIM program has partially or fully funded more than 40 research and restoration projects in the Charlotte Harbor watershed, leading to nearly 1,100 restored acres.
Press Release, June 4, 2013