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Water-Related News

Proposed I-75 changes will require wetlands mitigation

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -- It'll be a win-win situation for the Florida Department of Transportation and Manatee County if officials finalize an agreement to mitigate removal of wetlands across Interstate 75 during construction on a new interchange on University Parkway -- all paid for by the state, said Brent Setchell of FDOT.

"$2,000,400 -- good for them to provide the mitigation that is going to offset both our wetland and species mitigation," Setchell said.

Those who drink water in Manatee County will benefit as well according to Charlie Hunsicker, the county's director of Parks and Natural Services.

"The more wetlands you have, the more storage banks that you have upstream of your major drinking water ponds. The more reliable that pond is going to be through the months of low rainfall."

"Instead of spending just roughly $4 million to accomplish the mitigation, the state is only going to be spending $2 million. it goes into other projects, other roadways..other priorities."

Even though the wetlands around the interstate are considered of poor quality, the project will consist of the ecological restoration of approximately 75 to 100 acres of wetland areas located on the east side of Duette Preserve that is considered high quality -- not only for keeping water clean but for ecosystem as well.