Environment
3:49 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Corps Of Engineers Hopes To Accelerate Permit Process To Protect Endangered Species

In South Florida, marine species are at the top of the endangered species list.
In South Florida, marine species are at the top of the endangered species list.
Credit Wikimedia / Creative Commons

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a controversial history in Florida -- especially when it comes to the Everglades and the state’s wildlife.  

But now, the agency wants Floridians to know they’re working harder to protect endangered species.  

Each year the Corps of Engineers receives requests for various projects to build on regulated wetlands or the coast.  

The agency tries to issue half of those permits within 120 days.

The Corps’ regulatory chief, Tory White, says this may be difficult to achieve this year because many of the new permit requests could have a harmful impact on endangered species -- and Florida has more than 100 endangered species.

White says in South Florida, marine species are the biggest concern on that list. The agency is assessing the effects of docks, seawalls and beach nourishment on species.

So the Corps of Engineers is trying to find ways to expedite the permit process while at the same time protecting vulnerable wildlife.  

“Even though the situation is pretty bad now, we are aware of it and we are trying to do things to improve it in the future,” White says.

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