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4.23 Proposed activities that would degrade the function of wetlands or deepwater habitat shall not be permitted, except where such activities are not contrary to the public interest, and there is no practical alternative that reduces or avoids impacts to wetlands or deepwater habitat. Unavoidable losses of viable wetlands should be mitigated through demonstrably successful restoration, creation or — where no other alternative is feasible — preservation of other wetlands whose functional values are comparable to the wetlands lost. Wetland mitigation should occur within the same watershed as the proposed impact to ensure no net loss of wetland functional values within that watershed. Creation of new wetlands as mitigation should avoid impacts to ecologically valuable uplands, including bird nesting colonies, migratory wildlife corridors and rare or endangered ecosystems.
Mitigation shall be provided for unavoidable wetland impacts pursuant to regulatory requirements of the SJRWMD and the ACOE, as applicable. Unavoidable wetland impacts shall be compensated for preservation, enhancement, restoration and/or creation of wetland and upland communities on-or-off site within the same watershed. As required by 62-345, Florida Administrative Code,(during the permit acquisition stage) wetland function will be evaluated using the Unified Mitigation Assessment Methodology (UMAM) to evaluate wetland function pre-and post-development scenario in order to prevent a loss of wetland function and to ensure the mitigation program demonstrates a no net loss of wetland functional values.