Public input sought on FWC permit request for lake restoration
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has applied for a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District to conduct restoration activities on 23 lakes and water bodies in the FWC’s Southwest Region.
This permit is required pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. The request is part of an overall initiative in which the FWC is working with the Corps to obtain permits for routine restoration work in 94 lakes and water bodies throughout Florida.
The following water bodies within the FWC’s Southwest Region are included in the permit application:
- Kissimmee River (including Paradise Run) in Okeechobee, Glades, Highlands, Polk and Osceola counties;
- Lake Arbuckle, Lake Hancock, Lake Isabell, Lake Livingston, Lake Marion, Lake Pierce, Lake Weohyakapka, Mud Lake and Tiger Lake in Polk County;
- Lake Adelaide, Lake Istokpoga, Lake Josephine, Lake Sebring, Little Red Water Lake, Red Beach Lake and Wolf Lake in Highlands County;
- Lake Lindsey in Hernando County;
- Lake Manatee in Manatee County;
- Lake Seminole in Pinellas County;
- Middle Lake in Pasco County;
- Lower Myakka Lake and Upper Lake Myakka in Sarasota County.
The FWC is seeking a permit which would authorize all of its routine mechanical aquatic plant maintenance activities related to habitat restoration and navigation maintenance within these water bodies for a period of 15 years. The proposed maintenance techniques include mechanical harvesting and shredding of aquatic vegetation and use of earth-moving and tilling equipment on vegetated areas during dry conditions.
The proposed restoration activities on lakes and other water bodies would improve habitat for fish and wildlife and provide outdoor opportunities for boating, angling and wildlife viewing.
The Corps permitting process requires the opportunity for public comment. On March 9, the Corps published a Public Notice for the proposed work on its website at: http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx. To view the notice, click on the following file number to open the Public Notice: SAJ-2014-02266 (SP-JED). If you would like to provide comments or have any questions regarding the Corps permit process, please follow the directions included in the Public Notice. Note that the web address is case sensitive and should be entered as it appears above.
Learn more about mechanical control of aquatic plants at http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/manage/control-methods/mechanical-control.