Hydrologic Ecosystem Restoration

Hydrologic ecosystem restoration can be a challenging undertaking to create beneficial restoration of water levels, flows, and hydroperiod without adversely impacting desirable and legally protected historic land uses. Technical creativity and multi-stakeholder collaboration are required to affect this balance underlain by a comprehensive understanding of ecosystem functions, dynamics, and relation to the surrounding landscape.

Water Science Associates has significant experience in providing integrated ecosystem restoration evaluations and sustainability planning to provide measurable benefits. We consider the integration of stormwater, surface water, groundwater, and water quality as critical elements to developing effective and sustainable short and long term solutions.

A properly integrated planning effort will consider a broad range of management options in seeking the most effective restoration plan. A key to a successful ecologic restoration program often involves coordination between public and private interests and a myriad of related stakeholders in the balanced consideration of restoration measures, environmental impacts, resulting water quality, long term sustainability, and cost. Water Science Associates excels in identifying teaming partners that can implement water management improvements which result in ecological restoration while reducing overall project costs.

One example of this strategy is the Charlotte Harbor Flatwoods Initiative, where FDOT needs were coupled with restoration of wetlands on Cecil Webb Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Rather than construct stormwater detention facilities in wetlands within the I-75 right-of-way, FDOT assisted in the development of a plan to remove excess water from flooded wetlands in Cecil Webb WMA. FDOT provided funds to purchase a farm that blocked outflows from the WMA. The outflow conveyance from the WMA is being improved, and the farm will be converted to a water storage area to store excess flows from the WMA. The collaboration reduced the cost of the highway widening project and provided ecosystem restoration planning and construction funding to the WMA.

Another example is a private/public partnership to restore a flow-way to the Yucca Pens Wildlife Management Area. The private landowner is maximizing utilization of the site for his development needs and is providing wetlands on the property to be used for a flow-way to convey flows from Cecil Webb WMA to Yucca Pens WMA. The new flow-way will be donated to the WMA.