- Located: Hillsborough River Drainage Basin
- Permitted by SWFWMD & USACOE
- State: UMAM, Federal: UMAM
- Forested Credits Available
Hillsborough River Mitigation Bank is located in the central portion of Pasco County, Florida. The bank site is approximately 793 acres and is hydro-logically and ecologically connected to the Hillsborough River through Big Cypress Swamp and Cypress Creek. Big Cypress Swamp is a tributary to the Hillsborough River, which is classified by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as a “Special Water” under their Outstanding Florida Waters classification system.
The project site encompasses a variety of upland and wetland habitat communities that are of regional significance. The site location is regionally significant as it is adjacent to existing conservation lands to the north, thus enhancing the overall water quality, wildlife habitat and vegetative structure with regards to the Hillsborough River Drainage Basin.
Effective hydro-logic enhancement will be achieved by removing current land use practices, such as pedestrian and vehicular usage, and re-establishing a direct hydro-logic connection to on-site and off-site wetland systems. Historic and recent land use activities within the uplands and wetland systems have resulted in altered vegetation composition. The proposed change in current land management practices will provide enhancements in water quality and the vegetative community structure, thus resulting in an overall ecological lift for the project site.
Fire suppression has resulted in a shift in vegetation community structure that is not indicative of native/historic composition. An important element of the ecological integrity of the site is the prescribed fire plan. Re-introduction of prescribed fire will result in immediate ecological lift and will enhance a degrading variety of ecosystems.