Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Developer to Pay for, Fix Marshland; the McIntosh Site Will Be Restored and $40,000 Will Go to the DNR

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Developer to Pay for, Fix Marshland; the McIntosh Site Will Be Restored and $40,000 Will Go to the DNR

Article excerpt

Byline: CAROLE HAWKINS

A northern McIntosh County developer cited last year for bush-hogging marshes and filling wetlands has signed off on a final agreement to reverse the damage.

Owners Anthony Silva and Joseph Soares of Waterfront Paradise LLC agreed to pay a $40,000 fine to the Department of Natural Resources' Coastal Resources Division and to restore the site's damaged marsh and tidal areas.

Last month, Waterfront Paradise said it would pay a $30,000 fine to DNR's Environmental Protection Division and restore a 25-foot vegetation buffer between marshes and uplands that had been mowed. In a contract last week with the Army Corps of Engineers, the developers agreed to return graded wetlands to their former elevations and replant native trees.

This third and final consent order closes the chapter on a case that cut across the jurisdictional lines of four government agencies and drew some of the largest penalties area regulators have seen in a decade.

"Our salt marshes are highly valued for the many functions they provide," said Coastal Resources director Susan Shipman. "The penalties and marsh restoration requirements imposed on Waterfront Paradise should send a strong signal that the state does not and will not condone violations of the public's tidelands."

Silva has said the violations were unintentional. The waterside property was being developed for vacation homes and Silva had instructed the contractor not to break any laws, he said. …

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