EIP II Acquires 1,095 Acres for a Wetland Mitigation Bank in Tampa, Florida

May 31, 2013

May 31, 2013

Ecosystem Investment Partners (EIP) is pleased to announce its acquisition today of 1,095 acres in Pasco County, Florida. EIP will restore the property back to a healthy mosaic of wet pine savanna, emergent marsh, and forested wetlands and develop the Old Florida Wetland Mitigation Bank on the site.

The property is located approximately 25 miles north of Tampa, Florida near Land O’ Lakes. It is contained within the northwest corner of the Connerton development, a large permitted residential and commercial project currently underway, and was slated to be “Village 5” of this development with 1,250 residential units. However, EIP will not develop the land, and will instead restore it back to the native habitat mix of “Old Florida,” including cypress stands, pine savanna prairie, and emergent marsh. The site is one of the premiere restorable sites in the region and also forms a key wildlife connection, as it is the missing link between the 3,500-acre Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) Conner Preserve; the 7,400-acre Cypress Creek Preserve; and the 18,000-acre Starkey Wilderness Preserve. The property also contains critical habitat for the federally endangered wood stork and for the state threatened gopher tortoise.

When permitted, the Old Florida Wetland Mitigation Bank will deliver high quality wetland mitigation credits to offset unavoidable, permitted wetland impacts in Florida’s Upper Coastal watershed, USGS hydrologic code (HUC) 03100207. This watershed includes Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus Counties. Wetland mitigation credits from the Old Florida Wetland Mitigation Bank will service impacts from public transportation projects, residential and commercial development, industrial development, and public infrastructure projects. The bank, and planned additions to it, will contain a large credit supply that will be able to service major projects with significant wetland impacts. Credits from both the State of Florida (which satisfy state Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) requirements) and from the US Army Corps of Engineers (which satisfy federal Clean Water Act Section 404 permit requirements) will be available. Purchasing credits to satisfy permit requirements (in lieu of do-it-yourself, or permittee-responsible mitigation) results in quicker time-to-permit, cost savings, and a full transfer of otherwise perpetual mitigation liability.

To inquire about the project, please contact Katherine Birnie, Director of Markets, at (443) 921-9441 or katherine@ecosystempartners.com.