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Water-Related News

Aqua by the Bay mitigation bank proposal set to go before judge

The hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5th, at the Southwest Water Management District office in Sarasota. Two more days are set aside in case the hearing goes longer than a day.

The administrative hearing on whether Florida’s environmental agency rightfully approved a mitigation bank permit near Aqua by the Bay will go before a judge Tuesday — but it won’t include what a federal agency had to say about it.

The Long Bar Pointe Mitigation Bank project — a 260-acre culmination of mangrove swamp and submerged seagrasses off the coast of Sarasota Bay and south of El Conquistador Parkway and directly adjacent to the proposed 529-acre Aqua development — was given an OK late last year by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, after Long Bar Pointe LLLP had scrapped its initial application because it erroneously included land it didn’t own.

Early this year, Suncoast Waterkeeper, Inc., Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage Inc. and former Manatee County commissioner Joe McClash filed a petition against FDEP’s decision. The respondents are Long Bar Pointe, an offshoot of developer Carlos Beruff’s Medallion Home, and FDEP.