Upland Habitat Loss and Degradation

Not all development is good development. Strip mining, for example, however economically important, is destructive to native habitats that are becoming increasingly scarce. It leaves behind either a moonscape or a thin veneer of artificial landscaping. Strip mining uses vast amounts of water, and creates both toxic byproducts and nutrient-rich runoff that contributes to algae blooms and “dead” zones.

Residential sprawl development is little more than another form of strip mining, because miles upon miles of native habitat are stripped away and covered with houses and lawns. Houses and lawns put a drain on the region’s water resources, and create pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer runoff that eventually finds its way to the sea. Even though much of the region’s development occurs inland, it still has an impact on the region’s water table, tributaries and threatened species, all of which we are mission-bound to protect.

In general, Suncoast Waterkeepe supports infill and brownfields development, high-density development over sprawl, and green development inside the urban services boundary as a way of upgrading stormwater retention and cleaning systems.