Natural Resources

Targeted Policies

For More Information

If you have any questions, please contact our Biologist via email or call 813-929-2760.
Staff addresses policies in the Conservation Element of the Pasco County Comprehensive Plan and the Land Development Code. These policies and regulations target:
  • Conservation lands
  • Ecological Corridors
  • Ecological planning units
  • Exotic species removal
  • Listed species
  • Wetlands

Protection is achieved by reviewing site plans, zoning applications, developments of regional impact and multi-planned unit developments for consistency with the previously referenced policies.

Ecological Corridors Ordinance
On June 21, 2016 the Board of County Commissioners adopted Ordinance Number 16-13, which became effective June 24, 2016.

Adopted Documents

Ecological Corridors Flow Charts

Assessment of Measures to Protect Wildlife Habitat in Pasco County

Download the Assessment of Measures to Protect Wildlife Habitat in Pasco County (PDF).

Pasco County Comprehensive Plan, Chapter 3, Conservation Element

The draft ordinance is being developed to implement the policies adopted as part of the Pasco County Comprehensive Plan, Chapter 3, Conservation Element (PDF).

Maps of Critical Linkages

Maps of the following critical linkages are provided for reference. The dashed yellow line on the maps shows the linkages boundaries as originally presented to and accepted by the BCC, and incorporated in the Comprehensive Plan. The solid yellow line shows the refinements to the adopted linkages.

Listed Species

Pasco County Comprehensive Plan Chapter 3 - Conservation Element and the Land Development Code Section 803: Listed Species require that all applications for Developments of Regional Impact, zoning amendments, and site development where listed or protected species are documented, or have the potential to occur, shall include a preliminary habitat assessment, which at a minimum, shall include: identification of on-site habitats, soils maps, survey methods and/or transects, and direct observations of any listed and protected species.

  • Further information is provided in this Listed Species Presentation (PDF).
  • Pasco County Natural Resources Crews Lake Gopher Tortoise Recipient Site was permitted with Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) for a total 144 tortoises. This site is for gopher tortoise relocations that are necessary for the construction of Pasco County Infrastructure Projects only including, but not limited to, stormwater, roads, facilities, utility projects, and Pasco County School Board projects. Private entity development projects shall not be accepted at the Crews Lake Gopher Tortoise Recipient Site. The Crews Lake Gopher Tortoise Recipient Site is managed and monitored according to the most current FWC gopher tortoise permitting guidelines and FWC Gopher Tortoise Management Plan. View the Permitting Relocations For Gopher Tortoises (PDF).
  • For information about the Crews Lake Gopher Tortoise Recipient Site please call the informational hotline 813-929-2764.

Living Shorelines

"The use of Living Shorelines as a shoreline management practice is beneficial because they provide erosion control benefits; protects, restores, or enhances natural shoreline habitat; and maintains coastal processes through the strategic placement of plants, stone, sand fill, and other structural organic materials (e.g. biologs, oyster reefs, etc)." -NOAA
Pasco County Parks Recreation and Natural Resources Department encourages the use of Living Shorelines to protect our wetland and aquatic resources where appropriate. Further information is provided in A Homeowners Guide to Living Shorelines (PDF).

Permitting Near Wetlands

Defining Wetlands: Many people think a wetland is where they can see water. However, visible water does not define a wetland. In order to know where a wetland is, a qualified scientist has to delineate the wetland, in the field, applying scientific standards to examine soils, vegetation and characteristic physical markers (hydrologic indicators). This is called "setting a jurisdictional wetland line."

Development Near Wetlands

  • If you have a wetland on or next to to your property, and would like to build or develop on that property, you will probably need to have a wetland line on your plans, unless your proposed development will be a considerable distance from the wetland.
  • Further information is provided in this Wetland Regulations Presentation (PDF).

Types of Projects That Might Require a Wetland Line

If you want to build a house, pool, well, shed, deck, patio, garage, carport, or just about anything else in the vicinity of a wetland, you will probably need to have a wetland line on your plans.

Conceptual Wetland Versus Field-Delineated Wetlands

  • Although PascoView and PascoMapper show where wetlands could be, these locations are only conceptual. A true wetland line can only be determined in person, in the field.
  • View the Geographic Information Services.

How Much of My Land Will Be Buildable?

  1. Buildable acres of land are based on the wetland line and Pasco County wetland categories I, II or III.
  2. Pasco County protects Category I wetlands more strongly than the state of Florida does. We do not allow impacts to Category I wetlands or impacts to the 25' upland buffer around Category I wetlands, except for public roads.
  3. The Comprehensive Plan defines Category I wetlands as
    Those wetlands which meet at least one of the following criteria:
    1. Any wetland of any size that has a hydrological connection (not man-made) to natural surface water bodies, such as natural lakes, rivers and springs.
    2. Any wetland of any size that has a direct connection to the Floridan aquifer by way of an open sinkhole or spring.
    3. Any wetland of any size that is within a lake littoral zone.
    4. Any isolated, uninterrupted wetland 100 acres or larger.
    5. Any wetland of any size that provides critical habitat for Federal and/or State-listed threatened or endangered species.
  4. Most Category I wetlands we see in Pasco County are either part of, or are connected to, a lake, pond, river, creek or the Gulf of Mexico, or are a swamp or marsh that is 100 acres or larger.
  5. For Category I wetlands, the buildable area will be the parcel area, minus the wetland - defined by the wetland line - minus the 25 feet upland buffer, minus the zoning setbacks. To know your zoning setbacks, please call Zoning at 727-847-8140.
  6. The Comprehensive Plan defines Category II and III wetlands as, "Category II wetlands shall mean those wetlands which meet any of the following criteria:
    1. Consists of isolated wetlands or formerly isolated wetland which by way of man's activities have been directly connected to other surface water drainage and are greater than five acres.
  7. Are less than 100 acres and do not otherwise qualify as Category I Conservation Area."
    Isolated wetlands of less than five acres.
    Do not otherwise qualify as Category I or Category II wetlands."
    Pasco County defers jurisdiction over Category II and III wetlands to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. We need FDEP's decision regarding development on or near these wetlands.
    To access elements of the Comprehensive Plan, including Chapter 3, the Conservation Element, please visit the Comprehensive Plan Page.

How to Have a Wetland Delineated

Pasco County personnel do not delineate wetlands. To hire a qualified scientist to delineate a wetland, please search online using the keywords "delineate" "wetlands" "Pasco County."

Floodplain Compensation

Development near wetlands often requires floodplain - compensation creating space to store stormwater that would fall onto or flow into a floodplain and that would be displaced by your house, pool, well, shed, deck, patio, garage, carport, etc. For more information about floodplain compensation, please call ext. 8336 and ask for the floodplain development review technician.

Wetland Information Phone Line

Pasco County provides this wetland information on a recorded phone message which can be reached at 813-929-AQUA or 813-929-2782.