CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources ordered to stop a road network project in Liloan town citing contractor’s violation of the law that bans cutting of mangroves. Squadrito was fined $11,500 and had to plant 317 mangroves on the site but the state had something else in mind. • Fine: Case still open. "Also, there's staffing, turnover. As of Tuesday morning, both Zarcone and the improvement association did not respond to News-Journal inquiries for comment. According to the consent order, $5,000 of the fine against SB Tree Service is for violating Florida Statute 403.121, which states the state can recover damages for "for any injury to the air, waters, or property, including animal, plant, and aquatic life, of the state caused by any violation.". Also, bring 700 square foot restoration area under conservation easement. The Bombay High Court, in an 83-page judgment, on Tuesday banned destruction and cutting of mangroves in Maharashtra. "If they can restore it with a small amount of money, that's fine. 3571[AN ACT TO PROHIBIT THE CUTTING, DESTROYING OR INJURING OF PLANTED OR GROWING TREES, FLOWERING PLANTS AND SHRUBS OR PLANTS OF SCENIC VALUE ALONG PUBLIC ROADS, IN PLAZAS, PARKS, SCHOOL PREMISES OR IN ANY OTHER PUBLIC GROUND]. A lot of this is ignorance. "We take illegal mangrove cutting very seriously," said Tim Rach, an environmental administrator in the state's Office of Submerged Lands and Environmental Resource Permitting. Trimming Mangroves: To trim mangroves in Pinellas County, you must either qualify for one of the exemptions in the code or obtain a permit. If restoration or mitigation are not practical, the violator can donate money to be used for the restoration of mangrove wetlands within a project approved by DEP or a local government. We also discuss possible penalties and the type of restoration that needs to be done.". Most unauthorized cuttings of mangroves are reported to the state or the local government by angry neighbors who enjoy the natural view and the bird life and whatnot that the mangroves typically attract and provide. The shallow water environment of the mangrove estuary area and the mangrove roots themselves protect these juvenile fish from predators like larger fish and birds1. email@example.com, A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-HELP-FLA OR ONLINE AT www.FloridaConsumerHelp.com, REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE." More than money. "The Department has worked diligently to ensure that the responsible parties were held accountable and that the area impacted will be fully restored," Gardener said. Other kinds of mangrove penalties are restoration (planting mangroves at the site where they were destroyed) and mitigation (planting mangroves at a suitable location off site). 6:00 p.m. CST. The cutting or removing of mangroves is only allowed when authorized by dredge and fill permits. Their importance "cannot be overemphasized," because of their ability to cycle and trap different organisms, nutrients and chemicals through their expansive root system. The fines include civil penalties as well as costs and expenses incurred during the DEP’s investigation of the matter. Unauthorized cutting of mangrove species, particularly naturally growing species or non-replanting of areas where harvesting had been conducted, shall be sufficient cause for the suspension, or cancellation of the CBFMA, without prejudice to penalties provided for in PD 705, as amended, Florida DEP fines company for illegally cutting 500 mangroves in Wilbur-by-the-Sea . Penalties for illegal mangrove cutting are: First violation: Property owners "may be required to restore the area." "In general, if we think we can't really prove willful intent, or the state attorney's office isn't interested in pursuing an environmental crime, we take it. » If trimming trees over 16 feet tall, trim in stages with no more than 25 percent removed annually. Mangrove violation cases are often reported to a local DEP office by the violator's neighbors. The state, however, defends the penalties it hands out, noting punishments often go well beyond fines. • Mortality: Red, black and white mangroves died • Violation: No permit • Mitigation: Planting mangroves on site and off site • Fine: $10,000, Case 10983: DEP vs. Anthony Squadrito • Location: Florida Inland Navigation District property behind the Squadrito Property at 330 River Edge Road, Jupiter • Case opened: June 14, 2001 • Penalty assessed: July 22, 2002 • Impact: About 15,000 square feet of 16- to 20-foot red, black and white mangroves were cut to ground level • Mortality: All mangroves were killed • Violation: No permit • Mitigation: Property owner had to plant 317 red, white and black mangroves • Fine: $11,500, Case 972000: DEP vs. Yacht Club at Highland Beach Partnership • Location: 3600 South Ocean Blvd., Highland Beach • Case opened: Nov. 13, 1997 • Penalty assessed: Feb. 4, 1998 • Impact: 100 mangroves, mostly white mangroves, cut in an area 500 to 1,500 square feet; some were cut to just below 6 feet, others to ground level • Mortality: Mortality was not identified on report, but because most of the trees where white mangroves, high mortality is unlikely. Making a civil mangrove-violation case can be a slow process. Kevin Lollar, Times News-Press
"Some of the low fines might be for very minor infractions," Rach said. If you have cut mangroves without any permit whatsoever, the state will institute an enforcement action against you. Homeowners may trim mangroves when the mangrove height exceeds 6 feet but is not taller than 10 feet. Coastal residents and landholders must apply for prior approval to undertake certain activities, such as building a jetty, that require them to cut, trim or remove mangroves or other marine plants. 208: Number of fines assessed in the 304 documented cases of illegal mangrove cutting from Jan. 1, 1997, to April 4. "This was an example of trimming for a view," Rach said. Rach offered other reasons why a mangrove case can take a long time to resolve. Most unauthorized cuttings of mangroves are reported to the state or the local government by angry neighbors who enjoy the natural view and the bird life and whatnot that the mangroves typically attract and provide. Thus we maintain extensions almost intact of mangrove forest since this plan has been implemented. Part of it, Moncrief said, is that, to make a criminal case, the state must prove the defendant willfully committed the violation. Penalties for illegal mangrove-cutting are: First violation: Property owners "may be required to restore the area." But of the 208 cases in which fines were assessed, only nine (4.3 percent) were $10,000 or more; 94 (45 percent) were $1,000 or less — the two Lee County cases are still under investigation. In the short term, there is considerable potential for these projects to result … "He would benefit from the view until the mangroves grew, so he had to plant upland vegetation to block the view he so desperately wanted until the mangroves had a chance to recover. • Mortality: All mangroves died. Red mangrove trees at water edge usfs via wikimedia commons Sarasota County Commissioner Christine Robinson still regrets not checking her email an hour or two sooner on Feb. 22, 2014. Penalties. Subsequent violations: Up to $100 for each mangrove … In the meantime, we've logged new cases. Publications: Homeowner Guidelines for Trimming Mangroves; Professional Mangrove Trimmers Registered in Pinellas County Listing "That's not the case in the civil world. » Mangroves over 10 feet tall require a professional mangrove trimmer. How many times would you like this to recur? Some of the more direct threats to mangrove communities have emerged from development proposals requiring reclamation of mangrove land, for example airport runway construction, port expansions and road development. DEP fines other responsible parties for illegal mangrove cutting in Wilbur-By-The-Sea . Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted. The bench, comprising Justice AS Oka and RI Chagla, also prohibited any sort of commercial exploitation of the mangroves. Palma Sola builder faces penalties for cutting, killing mangroves in Bradenton By CHARLES SCHELLE and MATT JOHNSON - Herald staff writers January 30, 2015 12:00 AM , Updated January 30, 2015 04:27 PM For a first violation, property owners may be required to restore the area. "Is the violator cooperative? Two Russell Island residents who were caught illegally cutting up and burning protected marine plants have been fined $2,668. Fines/Penalties for Illegally Cutting Mangroves. • Fine: $23,500, Case 21033: DEP vs. OR Golf Partners • Location: Three lots on Coral Lane and five lots on Cinnamon Bark Lane, Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo • Case opened: July 17, 2002 • Penalty assessed: April 4, 2003 • Impact: 3.04 acres (132,422.4 square feet) of red, black and white mangroves were clear cut, including 2.27 acres (98,881 square feet) in John Pennekamp State Park. "If mangroves are cut in my neighborhood, I want to see them restored. The Holly Hill company’s workers chainsawed the 8-foot-tall mangroves to a height of only 3.5 feet to improve a homeowner’s view in Wilbur-by-the-Sea, but didn’t have required permits or training. Abigail Brashear @abigailruthnews Wednesday Feb 26, 2020 at 6:21 AM Feb 26, 2020 at 12:41 PM. During that period, one case of illegal mangrove trimming was brought in Lee County; a second was brought after April. In recent times, mangrove communities have come under increasing threat from development pressures. • Mortality: 2,848 trees of all three species • Violation: The violators had a general permit, but under state law, mangroves may not be cut shorter than 6 feet and may not be removed, defoliated or destroyed. If we feel a homeowner didn't know better, maybe there will be a low penalty.". In addition to paying the fine, OR Golf had to donate 26 acres of wetlands and native hardwood hammocks to Pennekamp and $250,000 to the Florida Keys Environmental Trust Fund for restoration of mangrove wetlands at a site managed by the park. Please call (727) 453-3385 for any questions. "If we determine, yes, they are doing something contrary to the statute, we determine why they're doing it, see if it's ignorance or specific intent," Rach said. Before cutting, the trees were 26 to 28 feet tall, with some taller than 50 feet, and the largest estimated at 64 feet. Abigail Brashear @abigailruthnews Tuesday Mar 31 ... Zarcone will pay a total of $5,559 in penalties… • Violation: No permit • Mitigation: Planting of 135 mangroves and monitoring for 3 years. So, why not just charge the violator with a criminal offense and take him to court? "Obviously, we need tougher laws. Mangroves 2 a re trees or bushes, usually grown between the high water mark and mean low tide. Mangroves are found along coastal areas and can be found on many plots of waterfront property. Subsequent violations: Up to $100 for each mangrove … Mangrove-cutting case highlights Florida's tree of life ... of mangroves that they enacted the 1996 Mangrove Trimming and Preservation Act to regulate trimming and establish penalties … Subsequent violations: Up to $100 for each mangrove … Perhaps one of the most commonly identified services provided by mangrove communities is the provision of a nursery habitat for juvenile fish. If the environment is damaged, that environment should be restored as much as possible.". Sometimes we get higher civil penalties in civil cases.". Dr. Alice Lustica of DENR said mangroves are very important for it is a spawning ground of fishes and a shelter belt of coastal communities during typhoon. ", Case 10769: DEP vs. Del and Margaret Wilson • Location: 756 N. Manasota Key Road, Englewood • Case opened: May 7, 2001 • Penalty assessed: June 17, 2001 • Impact: 540 square feet of 10-foot red mangroves cut to 6 to 7 feet • Mortality: None • Violation: Did not have permit to do the work • Mitigation: None • Fine: $100, Case 10537: DEP vs. Edward G. and Elsa B. Martinez • Location: 775 N. Manasota Key Road, Englewood • Case opened: March 30, 2001 • Penalty assessed: Aug. 10, 2001 • Impact: 1,065 square feet of 10-foot red mangroves trimmed to 6 to 8 feet • Mortality: Five red mangroves • Violation: No permit • Mitigation: Plant three 3-gallon mangroves • Fine: $1,000, Case 20495: DEP vs. St. Lucie County Fire District • Location: St. Lucie County Fire District #8, 7583 S. Ocean Drive, Jensen Beach • Case opened: April 12, 2002 • Penalty assessed: Jan. 27, 2003 • Impact: Between 3,000 and 4,999-square feet (about 58 mangroves); 16-foot mangroves were cut to ground level (removed). We do what we can.". It was a way to discourage the benefit of the violation, hoping others don't do the same thing.". Article IndexFines Do Little to Stop Cutting of MangrovesPart 2 - Restoring MangrovesPart 3 - Criminal and Civil CasesAll Pages. "The Association's consent order includes penalties and the requirement of a full restoration plan.". Mangroves, which are protected by the state, are known to foster important habitats for fish and birds and are considered to be of great ecological importance, which is why they’re monitored closely by the DEP. The cutting or removing of mangroves is only allowed when authorized by dredge and fill permits. Mangroves cannot be trimmed below 6 feet. "The mangrove statute specifies what penalties we can exact," said Aliki Moncrief, deputy general council for the DEP's Civil Enforcement Section. The penalty for removing or improperly pruning a mangrove is up to 5,000 dollars per plant. DEP fine amounts are determined by the Environmental Litigation and Reform Act, Gardener said. Anyone violating the state's Mangrove Trimming and Preservation Act can be assessed a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation or a criminal penalty of up to $50,000 and five years in prison for each violation. The largest fine in the past 10 years was $50,000, but the fine was the smallest part of the penalty. When the DEP receives a complaint about mangrove violations, a compliance enforcement officer goes to the site to investigate.