"Maybe they cut off a couple of extra branches when they were installing a dock. 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. klollar@news-press.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." Before the violation, most of the trees were 26 to 28 feet tall, with some taller than 50 feet and the tallest estimated at 64 feet. • Fine: $50,000. Squadrito was fined $11,500 and had to plant 317 mangroves on the site but the state had something else in mind. By Rachel Brown Hackney. Subsequent violations: Up to $100 for each mangrove … tall, it must be trimmed gradually so too much leaf loss doesn’t kill the tree. Most mangroves cannot be cut lower than six feet above the water. If the environment is damaged, that environment should be restored as much as possible.". 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. We also have quite high fines for cutting down mangroves. Mangroves are important for many reasons, and mangrove trimming is regulated under Section 403.9321-403.9334, F.S., “Mangrove Act.” Mangroves serve as a key ecological component in several ecosystems, including serving as a nursery for many game and sport fisheries. Rach offered other reasons why a mangrove case can take a long time to resolve. "When my ox is gored, I want a new ox," he said. At the end of February, the DEP issued a consent order to fine SB Tree Service $6,000. The penalty for unauthorized trimming or alteration of mangroves is the cost of restoration. » Trimming mangroves over 6:00 p.m. CST. A 15-year-old boy was taken in custody on Friday by the Mumbai Mangrove Conservation Unit (MMCU), which functions under the state mangrove cell, for cutting a mangrove tree in Mahim earlier this week. © Gannett Co., Inc. 2020. Also, bring 700 square foot restoration area under conservation easement. This creates a relatively calm water environmen… "This is a huge state, and we have very few people in the field," DEP spokesman Eli Fleishauer said. Subsequent violations: Up to $100 for each mangrove … After over 500 mangrove trees were illegally slashed in Wilbur-By-The-Sea in the beginning of January, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is issuing fines to the final two of three responsible parties. Mangroves grow land and they protect our shoreline from event like hurricanes and high tides and storm events. Cite. How many times would you like this to recur? 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. Mangroves cannot be trimmed below 6 feet. "Is the violator cooperative? In the short term, there is considerable potential for these projects to result … Penalties for illegal mangrove cutting are: First violation: Property owners "may be required to restore the area." It goes to the state attorney's office. 208: Number of fines assessed in the 304 documented cases of illegal mangrove cutting from Jan. 1, 1997, to April 4. From Jan. 1, 1997, to April 4, the Department of Environmental Protection documented 304 cases of illegal mangrove cutting; fines have been assessed in 208 of those cases. In 2002, Squadrito illegally cut to ground level about 15,000 square feet of 16- to 20-foot red, black and white mangroves on Florida Inland Navigation District property behind his home. ", 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). Zarcone will pay a total of $5,559 in penalties, and the improvement association will pay $4,849. Fines/Penalties for Illegally Cutting Mangroves. Finally, a violator can buy credits in a mitigation bank (degraded wetlands that are restored by someone else). "Then we go back and draft a warning letter saying there's a possible violation and asking them to contact us. • 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. Abigail Brashear @abigailruthnews Tuesday Mar 31 ... Zarcone will pay a total of $5,559 in penalties… In addition, roots provide homes and attachment surfaces for animals, and act as nurseries for fish, shellfish and crustaceans. Florida DEP fines company for illegally cutting 500 mangroves in Wilbur-by-the-Sea . The largest fine in the past 10 years was $50,000, but the fine was the smallest part of the penalty. A lot of this is ignorance. So, why not just charge the violator with a criminal offense and take him to court? 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. That said, sometimes people report their neighbors because they have a vendetta against them or because they don't know the difference between mangroves and Brazilian pepper.". To avoid such a penalty, permits should be obtained, and a variance exemption may be Perhaps one of the most commonly identified services provided by mangrove communities is the provision of a nursery habitat for juvenile fish. 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. Cases done quickly have cooperative violators. The bench, comprising Justice AS Oka and RI Chagla, also prohibited any sort of commercial exploitation of the mangroves. ", Reprinted with permission 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, 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 … 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]. Before cutting, the trees were 26 to 28 feet tall, with some taller than 50 feet, and the largest estimated at 64 feet. From the Official Gazette of the Philippine Government House/Senate Bills: HB 5948/SB 651 - National Coastal Greenbelt Bill HB 5672 - Integrated Coastal Management Act HB 2969 - Coastal Climate Change Adaptation Program of 2016 HB 201 - Coastal Areas Rehabilitation and Improvement Act of 2016 HB 4206 - National Mangrove Forest Protection and Preservation Act… If you have cut mangroves without any permit whatsoever, the state will institute an enforcement action against you. 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 case also involved fill violations (filling without a permit). "We need to re-evaluate the whole process," he said. The penalty for unauthorized destruction of mangroves is the cost of restoration. Mangroves are found along coastal areas and can be found on many plots of waterfront property. During that period, one case of illegal mangrove trimming was brought in Lee County; a second was brought after April. Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted. Most of the islands that you would see throughout the state are created, ultimately, by mangroves or at least enlarged by mangroves. The penalty for removing or improperly pruning a mangrove is up to 5,000 dollars per plant. • Fine: Case still open. "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. 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.". DEP fines other responsible parties for illegal mangrove cutting in Wilbur-By-The-Sea . The cutting or removing of mangroves is only allowed when authorized by dredge and fill permits. • Mortality: All mangroves died. Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. If we feel a homeowner didn't know better, maybe there will be a low penalty.". 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. "That's not the case in the civil world. Mangrove expert Terry Tattar, professor emeritus of microbiology at the University of Massachusetts, said fines for illegal mangrove cutting are too low to be a deterrent. In the meantime, we've logged new cases. Furthermore, the survival of juvenile fish is aided by the long residence time of water amongst the mangroves, which is facilitated by the mangrove roots. "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. $2,488.10: Average fine handed out by the state for illegal mangrove cutting. The mangrove ecosystem 3 i s a highly complex natural system involving nonliving (abiotic) and living (biotic) components. The Bombay High Court, in an 83-page judgment, on Tuesday banned destruction and cutting of mangroves in Maharashtra. Abigail Brashear @abigailruthnews Tuesday Mar 31 ... Zarcone will pay a total of $5,559 in penalties… The state, however, defends the penalties it hands out, noting punishments often go well beyond fines. • 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. "Mangroves are a dwindling resource. DEP doesn't handle it. For subsequent violations, property owners and the person performing illegal trimming can be fined: Up to $100 for each mangrove illegally trimmed; Up to $250 for each mangrove illegally altered; Additional Resources: Although many cases in the last decade have been resolved in a few weeks or months, others have taken as long as seven years. Subsequent violations: Up to $100 for each mangrove … » If trimming trees over 16 feet tall, trim in stages with no more than 25 percent removed annually. "The Association's consent order includes penalties and the requirement of a full restoration plan.". When the DEP receives a complaint about mangrove violations, a compliance enforcement officer goes to the site to investigate. Danny Lippi: Every once in a while you’ll get a pretty good client that understands the benefits. 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. In addition, violators left trimmed debris on 38,892 square feet of the mangrove area and 330 square feet of shell path. If you have a mangrove over 24 feet. • 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. • Mitigation: OR Golf Partners had to donate $225,000 to the Florida Keys Environmental Trust Fund for restoration of mangrove wetlands at a site managed by the state park. The fines are so minimal that they really don't send a message. Penalties. "Obviously, we need tougher laws. Choose the plan that’s right for you. "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. 1 Recommendation. "If they can restore it with a small amount of money, that's fine. 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. Homeowners may trim mangroves when the mangrove height exceeds 6 feet but is not taller than 10 feet. Letters dated Feb. 29 warning of the possible violations were sent to Parsons and Hames. Although Tattar believes fines in mangrove cases are often too low, he said extra penalties, such as those in the cases of Squadrito and OR Golf Partners are appropriate and send the right message. 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, If you have cut mangroves without any permit whatsoever, the state will institute an enforcement action against you. 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). • Violation: No permit • Mitigation: Planting of 135 mangroves and monitoring for 3 years. There are about 469,000 acres of mangrove trees in Florida, according to the DEP’s website. Mangroves 2 a re trees or bushes, usually grown between the high water mark and mean low tide. 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. If it costs a lot of money, that's their problem. "Also, there's staffing, turnover. DEP fines other responsible parties for illegal mangrove cutting in Wilbur-By-The-Sea . Full text of Republic Act No. In 2002, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection fined Anthony Squadrito $125,000 for cutting down mangroves to create a view from his Loxahatchee River property. "A fine isn't as important as efforts to restore the mangrove community," Tattar said. It was a way to discourage the benefit of the violation, hoping others don't do the same thing.". They grow along tropical and subtropical shores and are found in estuaries. Part of it, Moncrief said, is that, to make a criminal case, the state must prove the defendant willfully committed the violation. Letters dated Feb. 29 warning of the possible violations were sent to Parsons and Hames. The Bombay High Court, in an 83-page judgment, on Tuesday banned destruction and cutting of mangroves in Maharashtra. The state, however, defends the penalties it hands out, noting punishments often go well beyond fines. "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. For a first violation, property owners may be required to restore the area. The fines include civil penalties as well as costs and expenses incurred during the DEP’s investigation of the matter. REGISTRATION #: CH11670. Trimming Mangroves: To trim mangroves in Pinellas County, you must either qualify for one of the exemptions in the code or obtain a permit. By BBN Staff: On June 15, 2018, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development, and … Bill DiPaolo Wednesday Oct 17, 2012 at 12:01 AM Oct 17, 2012 at 8:45 PM. "This was an example of trimming for a view," Rach said. Then we set up a meeting to discuss what occurred and why. An inspection report dated Feb. 15 states that Parsons hired the Bradenton contractor to cut mangroves across the street from his 28th Street property on land owned by Cedar Hames of Tierra Verde. Making a civil mangrove-violation case can be a slow process. The worst case for the offender is, 'OK, you get caught, and you get a fine and find out it's not much more than a New York City parking ticket.'". In all, the state handed out $517,525.80 in fines, for an average fine of $2,488.10. The question is whether the state is doing as much as it should to enforce the Mangrove Trimming and Preservation Act of 1996. The specific guidelines and rules are too numerous to list here, but a qualified and permitted tree service professional will know and follow the regulations. After over 500 mangrove trees were illegally slashed in Wilbur-By-The-Sea in the beginning of January, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is issuing fines to the final two out of three responsible parties. Abigail Brashear @abigailruthnews Wednesday Feb 26, 2020 at 6:21 AM Feb 26, 2020 at 12:41 PM. Thus we maintain extensions almost intact of mangrove forest since this plan has been implemented. Posted: Thursday, June 21, 2018. • Violation: The violators had a general permit that allowed trimming (not removal) of mangroves only on property owned by OR Golf Partners, but the cutting went beyond the permit. "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. Mangroves are protected by the State of Florida's "Mangrove Trimming and Preservation Act" and the State of Florida enforces the statutes protecting Mangroves. In that case, OR Golf Partners of Ocean Reef on Key Largo clear-cut 3.04 acres of red, black and white mangroves, including 2.27 acres in John Pennekamp State Park. Penalties for illegal mangrove-cutting are: First violation: Property owners "may be required to restore the area." Penalties for illegal mangrove-cutting are: First violation: Property owners "may be required to restore the area." Florida Laws on Cutting Down Trees By DavidC ... Three such such species are the three native species of Mangroves in Florida. Penalties. By Rachel Brown Hackney. All mangrove swamps set aside for coast-protection purposes shall not be subject to clear-cutting operation. » Mangroves over 10 feet tall require a professional mangrove trimmer. Somebody working on a case will leave, and when we hire somebody, that person has to get up to speed. Jupiter couple pays state $45,000 fine for mangrove cutting, still owes town $1.6 million . Please call (727) 453-3385 for any questions. From there, the DEP and the violator negotiate until they reach an agreement — the DEP also can go after the professional tree trimmer who did the work. • Mitigation: Case still open. DEP fine amounts are determined by the Environmental Litigation and Reform Act, Gardener said. 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. If not, that can drag out the case," he said. Article IndexFines Do Little to Stop Cutting of MangrovesPart 2 - Restoring MangrovesPart 3 - Criminal and Civil CasesAll Pages. The bench, comprising Justice AS Oka and RI Chagla, also prohibited any sort of commercial exploitation of the mangroves. Tattar doesn't like the idea of off-site mitigation or mitigation banks. Kevin Lollar, Times News-Press Sometimes we get higher civil penalties in civil cases.". We at the department have to operate within the confines of the statutes.". 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. 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. More than money. As of Tuesday morning, both Zarcone and the improvement association did not respond to News-Journal inquiries for comment. Featured on the World Wide Web by The Law Firm of Chan Robles & Associates - Philippines. We do what we can.". All rights reserved. Mangrove violation cases are often reported to a local DEP office by the violator's neighbors. Case 71151: DEP vs. Daniel S. Loren and Gulf to Bay Tree & Landscape Service Inc. • Location: 3381 Diamond Key Court, Punta Gorda • Case opened: June 22, 2007 • Penalty assessed: Case still open. "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. Florida Laws on Cutting Down Trees By DavidC ... Three such such species are the three native species of Mangroves in Florida. Publications: Homeowner Guidelines for Trimming Mangroves; Professional Mangrove Trimmers Registered in Pinellas County Listing "He had a very deep wetland parcel to the water, and suddenly there was this football-field-size view to the water where everybody else had a forest. "Some of the low fines might be for very minor infractions," Rach said. 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. When we pursue a criminal action, the. "We need the public's input to do our job. 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. Lustica said Section 4 of Republic Act (RA) 7161 has explicitly banned the cutting of all species of mangroves. By BBN Staff: On June 15, 2018, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development, and … Sometimes civil penalties are designed to match the offense, as in the case of Anthony Squadrito of Jupiter. Two Russell Island residents who were caught illegally cutting up and burning protected marine plants have been fined $2,668. "In the criminal world, we have to deal with things like the element of intent," Moncrief said. Mangroves are found along coastal areas and can be found on many plots of waterfront property. Daytona Beach News-Journal Online ~ 901 6th Street, Daytona Beach, FL 32117 ~ Do Not Sell My Personal Information ~ Cookie Policy ~ Do Not Sell My Personal Information ~ Privacy Policy ~ Terms Of Service ~ Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. Two Russell Island residents who were caught illegally cutting up and burning protected marine plants have been fined $2,668. An inspection report dated Feb. 15 states that Parsons hired the Bradenton contractor to cut mangroves across the street from his 28th Street property on land owned by Cedar Hames of Tierra Verde. "The mangrove statute specifies what penalties we can exact," said Aliki Moncrief, deputy general council for the DEP's Civil Enforcement Section. "Those amounts are set by the Legislature. Ashley Gardener, a spokesperson for the DEP, said the consent orders were issued to the Wilbur Improvement Association, Inc. — Wilbur-By-The-Sea’s voluntary Home Owner’s Association — and Peter Zarcone, the individual who hired the tree cutting service to slash the mangroves. In fact, 19 of the fines assessed since April 1997 were $250 or less — $250 is the maximum fine the state allows for illegally parking in a handicapped space. Digital access or digital and print delivery. 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 ,
2020 penalty for cutting mangroves