Can you imagine the time and resources wasted when you buy land only to find that you have no authority to build upon that land? This can happen to buyers who do not consult with a land professional or legal expert. To avoid getting stuck with property they originally had grand plans for, buyers interested in purchasing vacant land for sale Florida must do their due diligence to determine whether wetlands exist on the property.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), wetlands are classified by different agencies and systems. There are two general categories of wetland: tidal or non-tidal. The major types of wetlands found in the U.S. include marshes, swamps, bogs, and fens. The Cowardin system classifies wetlands by landscape position, hydrologic regime, and vegetation cover, and it identifies five types: tidal, marine, palustrine, tidal, and riverine. The Hydrogeomorphic system classifies wetlands by their geomorphic setting, dominate water source, and hydrodynamics, and it identifies four types: riverine, flat, fringe, slope, and depressional.
Before purchasing any vacant land for sale in Florida, it’s important to understand the potential impact of wetlands upon the property value and the property’s development potential. When assessing a property for wetlands, you must identify, verify, and manage them. Let’s take a closer look at these steps:
Identify: To identify whether wetlands exist on a property, soils, vegetation, and hydrologic indicators should be evaluated by a qualified individual. Wetland maps are available on the National Wetlands Inventory website.
Verify: If wetlands are identified, consult with the governing agency to determine wetland boundaries (delineation).
Manage: Landowner activities impact the function of a wetland, so proper management is essential to ensure the proper permits are requested for regulated areas.
Visit government agencies such as the EPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the Florida Department of Environment Protection for help with wetland permitting, delineation, and more. If you have not already, please read part one of our article.