Design, Permitting, and Incentives for Waterway Buffers, Living Shorelines, and Mangrove Management
Title:Editing Design, Permitting, and Incentives for Waterway Buffers, Living Shorelines, and Mangrove Management
Discussion Group Leaders: Rhonda Evans and Matt Osterhaudt
- What happened during the era of drudge and fill?
- Shorelines hardening, by 1988, 53% of bay hardened.
- Currently: Halting the progress by not reversing it.
- 54% of shore is bulkhead or revetment - including canals.
- Invasive species problem.
- "Hold the line" plan: no restoration, just keeping the shoreline from degrading.
- No incentives for creating new revetment where there is old revetment.
- Need to look back to see what was historically on the shoreline rather than assuming it's mangroves.
- Challenge: We need to work with individuals and individual properties. There is an expectation that a shoreline look hard instead of being full of mangroves.
- Science/policy disconnect for properties. Mangrove removal. Homeowners pull up young mangroves so that they don't have to deal with the policies surrounding them.
- There is little encouragement for creating shoreline
- Rip rap in front of sea wall preserves the wall. We can promote this as a cost incentive for property owners because the wall
is so expensive to replace.
- Problem: Homeowners don't want to give up land to sea wall.
- Rip rap: less cost of maintenance, prevents property loss, homeowners don't want views interrupted.
- There is a perception that property will diminish if the sea wall is replaced.
- Public Policy: Restoration of high water line
- Restoration Opportunity: the county needs to address the restoration of the revetment.
Shoreline Restoration and Policy
- Many shorelines are inaccessible: make it a park or public place of interest to spark public interest and use.
- Many islands are disappearing and this requires a coordinated effort to preserve, no shoreline buffer. Would it be better for the Spoil Islands to fade away? We enjoy them, so we should preserve them, but we must take action.
- Do we wan to stabilize the shoreline or restore to an unknowable historic ideal? Should we let nature take course even if it's not restoring original habitat?
- New habitat created through change.
- No comprehensive plan for shorelines: need definitions for whole community, next we need an institutional framework to realize plan, make deadlines, then we can evaluate specific institutions and specific plans.
- Is the aging of seawalls making this a big enough issue yet? If not, it will with time.
- Get homeowners to participate with their across the canal neighbors as economic incentive since many homeowners like mangroves on the shoreline across from them.
- CEs can be changed if a proposal is consistent with original intent to create a permission to restore rather than just conserve
- What about a multidisciplinary institution instead of monofocus?
- Whitaker Bayou canal - water quality is not in compliance, garbage from storm water system. County should have to bring storm water utility into compliance, but county has no plan, no dialog about best plan, storm water fee is used essentially to put garbage in the water.
- There is a disconnect between storm water utility intent and actual function. Areas of non compliance must be examined.
- How can we create a coordinated program of education for the community?
- The county has been talking to community, but need more coordination, planning workshops, website resource, living shoreline project on Ana Maria island.
- The Bay Front Park Marina Jack could use more accessibility.
- Education via traveling show?
- Open house.
- Bay friendly landscaping.
- National Sea Grant - educational workshops about slews, storm water ponds b/c shorelines are private property.
- Edwards Islands in Robert's Bay - it's been the same conversation for years, some restoration, and a long term maintenance problem.
- Where is there the greatest need? Information and education needs to reach public, private owners especially, on where they can
- Our education efforts are drops in a bucket: to make greater progress we need a region wide working group with hearings, money, design charette, then an outreach plan, collaborative partnerships.
- Shade for our fish: a primary school education campaign.
- Combine CE and contractor in educational process
- Educating the public of higher importance than additional scientific information at this time.
- Every 7 years, the island population turns over, so we have to reeducate the new homeowners.
- Educate master gardeners on these issues.
The Wall Restoration Process/Incentives
- When a private owner decides to change shoreline, they call an engineering firm. How can we get in on that process to give them info about soft shorelines and other options?
- The big tree story: a big tree that falls on the house will keep the roof on in a great storm.
- Right now, we come in the process after a homeowner has talked to the marine contractor, after being sold an offer for a sea wall.
- Need a change in the industry b/c of industry workers, such as the marine contractors, too.
- When a homeowner needs to make repairs and is seeking options, we need a comparative offer and to get them that offer quickly.
- Homeowners are told they are exempt from permitting by contractors.
- Mangrove permitting: can we make a general permit for living shorelines? This would make the process less intimidating for
- Tried to do this with the 1998 wetland enhancement project general permit, but did not work. There's no marketing created to persuade the property owners.
- Is there some way we can connect living shorelines to insurance? Creating a discount for living shorelines because they protect the property.
- Take advantage of win/win situations and perspectives.
- Replacement of seawalls the norm. Maybe make minimal living sea wall also the norm, not a burden, common contributing.
- In past discussions with NEP and core of engineers for creating a 404 general permit, they were receptive. However, the process is overwhelming to actually create one.
- Hang ups that homeowners have with Mangroves: ruins the view, but also wary of potential enforcement, potential complications, avoiding government intervention. However, homeowners really like mangroves across the canal! So it's not an issue of aesthetics, but rather complication.
- Manatee river testimony: we have wanted to restore 7 ft of shoreline, but have not been able to find a process to do so.
- Grand canal testimony: lives there and has a property line 15 ft in the bay - no way to get that shoreline back; those with softened shoreline have no place to go to fix it within state.
- Can we modify the lifecycle of the project process? Need to act in a facilitator role for homeowners restoring sea walls.
- Some ground filtering occurs from zero grade houses, but now new buildings replacing them have higher grade so that percolation does not occur. We need an incentive for lawns at a grade that does not allow their fertilization to run off.