Little Pine Island Mitigation Bank

The Little Pine Island Mitigation Bank (LPIMB) (Bank) is a 4,670± acre wetland restoration project in Lee County, Florida. In the 1960’s, the island’s wetlands were drained by mosquito ditches and the unique high marsh habitats became badly infested with exotic plant species such as Melaleuca, Australian pine, and Brazilian pepper.  In 1997 Mariner Properties Development, Inc./LPI Wetland Mitigation Bank, Ltd. conceived and proposed a unique and pioneering agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and began the $22 million restoration of Little Pine Island.

Recovery of the restored wetlands, completed in 2015, has been quite remarkable. Following exotic removal, seeds of native wetland vegetation that had been dormant in the soil sprouted to produce appropriate native wetland flora within well-balanced vegetation communities. Supplemental plantings of native species in small areas where the seed bank failed to germinate, and ongoing exotic maintenance, have allowed the restoration areas to reach conditions that are highly comparable to pristine natural systems.

In 1995, the pre-restoration assessment of wildlife utilization included only 4 mammal species, 43 bird species including 20 wetland-dependent bird species, and 5 species of native reptiles.  To date, wildlife monitoring has documented utilization by at least 9 species of native mammals, 111 bird species including 54 wetland-dependent bird species, 21 species of native reptiles, 7 species of native amphibians, 14 species of native fish, and 150 aquatic macroinvertebrate species.

Little Pine Island is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, the Great Calusa Blueway, and has been chosen as one of only 36 sites worldwide by the United Nations Environment Programme which demonstrate the success of ecosystem restoration for worldwide sustainability.  As part of the Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park, Little Pine Island is open to the public for the enjoyment of birding and hiking enthusiasts.  The extensive restoration of Little Pine Island, which would not have been possible without the public-private partnership, has re-established the historical hydrology and unique high marsh vegetation on Little Pine Island.  The island’s tidal creeks now function as they once did creating “mangrove tunnels” which attract kayakers and fisherman along the Great Calusa Blueway.

The Little Pine Island Preservation Trust Fund has also been established for perpetual maintenance and monitoring of the entire 4,670 acre island.  Funded through the sale of wetland mitigation bank credits, the Trust Fund will exceed $2 million, the interest from which will be used yearly to pay for all maintenance forever on Little Pine Island.

Little Pine Island now stands as a shining example of private business joining with the State of Florida to create a natural legacy today and far into the future.

Mitigation Credits Provided:

  • Freshwater Forested and Herbaceous Credits
  • Saltwater Forested and Herbaceous Credits
  • Valid for State and/or Federal Permit Requirements

Mitigation Service Area:

See Map Below for Mitigation Bank Location and Mitigation Service Area

Mitigation Credit Price:

Call EcoResolve for Credit Pricing and Availability

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