FSU Professor Concerned With Wetland Banking

By: Leonard Horton
By: Leonard Horton

A local professor is concerned about a federal policy that allows developers leeway when they damage wetlands.

FSU law professor J.B. Ruhl says developers destroying wetlands in some areas and buying wetlands elsewhere has environmental consequences that can be harmful to urban areas.

He says without wetlands people lose environmental services such as water filtration and flood control.

"Wetlands banking allows the developer, who needs to fill wetlands to do his project, to mitigate for that by buying credits that another person has created through wetland restoration on some other property. So they are basically trading wetlands," says Ruhl.

"You are creeping up on these animals home territory. This is where all the animals in this system have to survive and live their lives," says wetland advocate Chris Evans.

The Clean Water Act requires developers who damage or destroy wetlands to create new ones on the development site, or somewhere else.

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