Wetland Preservation/Lakes & Canals
Weston encompasses a vast amount of open space in the way of wetland preserve areas
Historically Weston was Everglades marsh dominated by sawgrass. The area had been ditched and drained for pastureland and was infested
with exotic, nuisance tree species. The Indian Trace Community Development District (ITCDD), a dependent district of the City of Weston,
restored over 2,000 acres of wetland as mitigation. The homes and businesses in Weston were allowed to be built on the condition that these
mitigation wetlands be constructed and maintained. Construction began in 1988 and was completed in 2001. The maintenance will continue perpetually.
Objectives of the mitigation plan are to enhance and restore the historic Everglades marsh and the creation of open water and forested
wetland habitats to benefit wetland-dependent wildlife. The sites constructed in Weston include varied wetland habitats such as open water,
sawgrass marsh, forested tree islands, aquatic shelves and aquatic refuge. These areas are shown on the map and include areas interspersed
throughout the city, running along main roadways.
Monitoring requirements of local, state and federal agencies require quarterly and semi-annual reports for each mitigation site for a
period of five years, to assess its progress, any problem areas, and its success. Year-round maintenance includes the elimination of specific
plant species while fostering the growth of healthy wetland and native vegetation, attracting and supporting a diverse population of fish and wildlife.
The restored and enhanced Everglades marsh and the creation of open water and forested wetland habitats, today blends seamlessly with the naturally
formed Everglades that it borders. Water levels are monitored, panoramic photo stations visually record environmental conditions and vegetative cover,
and regular fish and bird counts document the overall health and vitality of each site. It is a sanctuary for wildlife to thrive in an undisturbed
and unthreatened environment.
Weston now has two major wetland mitigation areas
remaining after the 2015 conveyance of two areas to the SFWMD for inclusion within a 565 acre mitigation buffer at the north end of the proposed C-11 Impoundment Project in Weston:
- A 275-acre area west of South Post Road and south of the Regional Park.
- A 1,185 -acre area between the Savanna community and U.S. 27, the largest wetland mitigation project in the United States.
» C-11 Impoundment Project in Weston
LAKES AND CANALS
» Invasive Plants FAQs
» Lake Levels Map
Along with the wetland preserves, Weston has 1,877 acres of lakes and canals which are also carefully maintained by the City. Oftentimes, residents
question the spraying of vegetation along the lake edges or want to see the "weeds" removed:
The plantings in each area were put there for a specific purpose, whether to attract certain insects, birds and fish, or to provide nesting places
for reproduction, or to provide a food supply for others. The City sprays the exotic weeds, which die, fall into the water and deteriorate, leaving
only the native plants. Dead plant leaves and stems break down in the water to form small particles of enriched organic material. This feeds many small
aquatic insects, shellfish and small fish that are food for larger fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals.
The vegetation along lakes and canals is necessary for water quality, enabling Weston residents and visitors to enjoy pristine water conditions. Diverse
vegetation pulls impurities from the water, like a filter, and releases oxygen and water into the atmosphere. Littoral shelves, varying ground levels
along and in the water embankments, are planted with vegetation, are constructed for this purpose as well as being nesting.
THE BENEFITS ARE MANY
- water quality, flood protection, shoreline erosion control and opportunities for recreation and nature appreciation.
- Wetlands serve as natural water filtration systems and water storage areas that provide flood protection.
- Wetlands recharge the ground water that is vital to our fresh water supply.
- Wetlands purify storm water by removing organic materials, fertilizers and contaminants.
- Wetlands provide a habitat for fish, birds and other animals and provide foods that attract other animal species.
- Weston's wetland preserves and our host of lakes and canals provides residents with a glimpse of South Florida in its most natural state.