Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Kathleen Crawford
Submission Date July 28, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Florida Gulf Coast University
OP-11: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Katie Leone
Sustainability Coordinator
Environmental Health & Safety
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance?:
Yes

A brief description of any legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance on institution owned or managed land:

Conservation Areas and Wetland Areas as defined by South Florida Water Management District. This agency is responsible for permitting water management on FGCU's campus, as well as management of water during and around construction projects. (http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/sfwmdmain/home%20page)


Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on institution-owned or –managed land?:
Yes

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify environmentally sensitive areas on institution-owned or –managed land?:
Yes

The methodology(-ies) used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or environmentally sensitive areas and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

Endangered and vulnerable species and environmentally sensitive areas are assessed and monitored through the campus master planning process, the Campus Ecosystem Model (CEM), faculty research and the Environmental Sustainability Committee (ESC), (formally known as the Environmental Stewardship Advisory Council (ESAC).

CAMPUS MASTER PLANNING:
FGCU’s campus consists of 800 acres of land, with a central academic core area of approximately 150 acres, bounded by a perimeter road. A lakefront parcel to the northeast of the academic core, called North Lake Village, is devoted to mixed uses, including student housing, athletics and recreation, and specialized academic support facilities. An additional approximately 67 acres of developable upland area exist on campus, including approximately 36 acres within the academic core, and approximately 74 31 acres in two outparcels located to the south and west of the academic core. These outparcels are called South Village Housing, and the Welcome Center Area in this planning document. All of these areas are surrounded by approximately 400 acres of jurisdictional wetland upland buffers.

Pursuant to the adopted 1995 Master Plan, these natural habitat areas are being restored and preserved as development mitigation areas and/or permanent open space. Associated permits and phasing of mitigation activities are described in further detail in Element 13.0 of the 2010-2020 Campus Master Plan Update (http://www.fgcu.edu/Facilities/Files/20120417DIA.pdf).

CAMPUS ECOSYSTEM MODEL (CEM):
Florida Gulf Coast University has developed a model for undergraduate education whereby the university campus serves as a focus for the study of the entire watershed within which it is situated, from its freshwater origins downstream to the Gulf of Mexico.
• draws attention to the exchange of information between organisms and their environment
• tracks matter and energy through the campus ecosystem
• explores the linkages that exist between the campus and other ecosystems via the import and export of the above properties.

The model builds upon previously developed and tested teaching practices that connect the learner directly to an ecosystem. These methods include bringing ecology into the classroom through the use of microcosms and using the schoolyard as an extension of the science classroom. The CEM increases the scale and significance of this approach by emphasizing that the university itself is situated within an ecosystem and is both influenced by and influences this system. (http://www.fgcu.edu/CAS/CEM/index.html & http://www.nsta.org/publications/news/story.aspx?id=46684)

FACULTY RESEARCH:
Faculty members regularly complete research and class and projects that assess and monitor endangered/vulnerable species and environmentally sensitive areas:

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE (ESC):
The ESC consists of faculty, staff, student, and community members appointed by the University President. The mission of the ESC is to foster proactive environmentally sustainable policies consistent with the University’s mission, guiding principles, and student learning goals and outcomes. The Environmental Sustainability Council meets regularly and is responsible for ensuring that the university has a goal (with associated action plans) for promoting environmental sustainability that is included in the university strategic plan. The action plans will have clear objectives and identified resources and offices responsible for their attainment. The committee will monitor the implementation of approved action plans on an ongoing basis and it will make its recommendations to and receive directions from the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC). The committee will also ensure coordination of the activities of all campus units engaged in activities designed to achieve environmental sustainability.


A brief description of identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

CAMPUS PLANNING:

2010-2020 Campus Master Plan Update Vol. I- Data Inventory and Analysis Report
April 17, 2012 (http://www.fgcu.edu/Facilities/Files/20120417DIA.pdf)

13.0 CONSERVATION ELEMENT
13.1 Background
In 1991, the Florida State Legislature commissioned the Development of the tenth university of the Florida State University System. On October 22, 1992, an agreement was entered into between Alico, Inc., and the Board of Regents of the State of Florida for the conveyance of 760 acres of property owned by Alico to the Board of Regents, for the purpose of constructing Florida Gulf Coast University. The site chosen is located east of Interstate 75 and north of Corkscrew Road, in Sections 13, 14, 23, and 24, Township 46 South, Range 25 East, Lee County, Florida.

As part of the site selection and campus planning processes for the FGCU campus, an extensive ecological inventory was conducted and documented in the 1995 Campus Master Plan Inventory report. Preliminary surveys included a general delineation and characterization of the site’s major upland and wetland plant communities, a general review of the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) soils survey, and a survey for threatened and endangered plant and wildlife species. The goal of this work effort was to provide the ecological information necessary to plan and design the university in the most efficient, ecologically friendly manner. Unavoidably, however, the construction of the campus and its associated infrastructure would impact a variety of upland and wetland systems occurring onsite. In order to compensate for these impacts, a comprehensive mitigation plan was developed and is being rigorously implemented through permits issued by both the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) and the South Florida Water Management

District (SFWMD). Policies contained in the 1995 Campus Master plan reflect the mitigation plan’s response to such impacts. The following summarizes the findings of the ecological inventory updated on April 17, 2012:

Soils
The presence of hydric soils is one of the general parameters that agencies use when making jurisdictional wetland determinations. Therefore, a review of the soils was a necessary part of the jurisdictional process. A The soil survey was utilized as part of the extensive environmental studies undertaken for the jurisdictional process and planning of the FGCU campus. The majority of soil types occurring within the University site were identified as to be hydric (nine out of fourteen), and are distributed mainly in the northwest, south and northeast portions of the site, delineating the boundaries of future development areas. The results of the soil survey are presented below, with a brief description of each soil type and the vegetative cover or land use that generally occurs on each of them.
• 6-Hallandale fine sand-This is nearly level, poorly drained soil on low, broad flatwoods areas. In most years, under natural conditions, the water table is less than 10 inches below the surface for 1 to 3 months. It recedes below the limestone for about 7 months. Florida Land Use, Cover and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS) units occurring on the soil type include disturbed pine flatwoods (4119), disturbed palmetto prairie (3219), and hydric melaleuca (4241). The soil has severe limitations for urban uses because of shallowness to bedrock and wetness.
• 13-Boca fine sand-This is a nearly level, poorly drained soil on flatwoods. In most years, under natural conditions, the water table is within 10 inches of the surface for 2 to 4 months. It recedes below the limestone for about 6 months. Natural vegetation consists primarily of disturbed pine flatwoods (FLUCFCS code 4119), and hydric melaleuca (FLUCFCS code 4241). This soil has severe limitations for sanitary facilities, building site development, and recreational uses primarily because of the high water table.
• 14-Valkaria fine sand- This is nearly level, poorly drained soil on sloughs. In most years, under natural conditions, the water table is at a depth of less than 10 inches for 1to 3 months. It is at a depth of 10 to 40 inches for about 6 months and recedes to a depth of more than 40 inches for about 3 months. During periods of high rainfall, the soil is covered by slowly moving water for periods of about 7 to 30 days or more. FLUCFCS units occurring on this soil type include cleared areas (747), hydric cleared areas (7461), and hydric melaleuca (4241). The soil has severe limitations for urban development because of the high water table.
• 26-Pineda fine sand- This is a nearly level, poorly drained soil on sloughs. In most years, under natural conditions, the water table is within 10 inches of the surface for 2 to 4 months. It is 10 to 40 inches below the surface for more than 6 months, and it recedes to more than 40 inches below the surface for more than 6 months, and it recedes to more than 40 inches below the surface during extended dry periods. During periods of high rainfall, the soil is covered by a shallow layer of slowly moving water for periods of about 7 to 30 days or more. FLUCFCS units occurring on this soil type include disturbed pine flatwoods (4119), disturbed palmetto prairie (3219), malaleuca (424), hydric melaleuca (4241) borrow area (742), and hydric cleared area (7461). This soil has severe limitations for urban development primarily because of the high water table.
• 27-Pompano fine sand, depressional- This is a nearly level, poorly drained soil in depressions. In most years, under natural conditions, the water table is within 10 inches of surface for 2 to 4 months and stands above the surface for about 3 months. It is 10 to 40 inches below the surface for more than 5 months. FLUCFCS units occurring on this soil type include disturbed palmetto prairie (3219), disturbed pine flatwoods (4119), and hydric melaleuca (4241). In its natural state, this soil has severe limitations for septic tank absorption fields, swellings without basements, small commercials buildings, and local roads and streets.
• 28-Immokalee sand- This is nearly level, poorly drained soil in flatwoods areas. In most years, under natural conditions, the water table is within 10 inches of the surface for 1 to 3 months and 10 to 40 inches below the surface for 2 to 6 months. It recedes to a depth of more than 40 inches during extended dry periods. FLUCFCS units occurring on this soil type include cleared areas (746). This soil has severe limitations for urban development because of high water table.
• 39-Isles fine sand, depressional-This is a nearly level, very poorly drained soil depressions. In most years, under natural conditions, the water table is above the surface for 3 to 6 months. It is within a depth of 10 to 40 for 2 to 4 months. The water table recedes to a depth of more than 40 inches during extended dry periods. FLUCFCS units occurring on this soil type include hydric melaleuca (4241), cypress (621), disturbed cypress (6219), disturbed wet prairie (6439), and borrow area (742). Because of ponding, this soil has severe limitations for urban and recreational uses. Areas of this soil provide excellent habitat for wading birds and other wetland wildlife.
• 42-Wabasso sand, limestone substratum-This is a nearly level, poorly drained soil of broad flatwoods. In most years, under natural conditions, the water table is within 10 inches of the surface for 1 to 3 months. It is 10 to 40 inches below the surface for 2 to 4 months. It is below the limestone during extended dry periods. FLUCFCS units occurring on this soil type include disturbed pine flatwoods (4119), hydric melaleuca (4241), and mixed wetland hardwoods (4381). This soil has severe limitations for urban development because of the high water table.
• 45-Copeland sandy loam, depressional- This is a nearly level, poorly drained soil in depressions. In most years, under natural conditions, the soil is ponded for about 3 to 6 months or more. The water table is within a depth of 10 to 40 inches for 4 to 6 months. FLUCFCS units occurring on this soil type include hydric melaleuca (4241) and disturbed cypress (6219). This soil has severe limitations for urban and recreation uses because of prolonged ponding.
• 49-Felda fine sand, depressional-This is a nearly level, poorly drained soil in depressions. In most years, under natural conditions, the soil is ponded for about 3 to 6 months or more. The water table is within a depth of 10 to 40 inches for 4 to 6 months. FLUCFCS units occurring on this soil type include hydric melaleuca (4241) and disturbed cypress (6219). This soil has severe limitations for urban and recreation uses because of prolonged ponding.
• 51-Floridana sand, depressional-This is a nearly level, very poorly drained soil in depressions. In most years, under natural conditions, the water table is above the surface for 3 to 6 months or more. It is 10 to 40 inches below the surface during extended dry periods. FLUCFCS units occurring on this soil type include freshwater marsh (641) and wet prairie (643). The soil has severe limitations for urban and recreation uses because of prolonged ponding. 2010-2020 Campus Master Plan Update
• 69-Matlacha gravelly fine sand- This is a nearly level, somewhat poorly drained soil formed by filing and earthmoving operations (cleared area FLUCFCS code 746). The depth to the water table varies with the amount of fill material and the extent of artificial drainage. However, in most years, the water table is 24 to 36 inches below the surface of the fill material for 2 to 4 months. It is more than 60 inches below the surface during extended dry periods. Most of the natural vegetation has been removed. This soil has severe limitations for sanitary facilities and recreational uses and moderate limitations for most buildings site development. The high water table and sandy surface texture are the major limitations. Unstable surface material can severely limit shallow excavations, and the high water table severely limits use for dwellings with basements. In scattered areas where the fill material contains boulders or compacted material, the installation of underground utilities or functioning of septic tank absorption fields may be a problem.
• 73-Pineda fine sand, depressional- This is a nearly level, very poorly drained soil in depressions. In most years, under natural conditions, the soil is ponded for about 3 to 6 months or more. The water table is within a depth of 10 to 40 inches for 4 to 6 months. FLUCFCS units occurring on this soil type include Cypress (621), disturbed cypress (6219), hydric melaleuca (4241), freshwater marsh (641), fill area (744), and hydric cleared area (7461). This soil has severe limitations for urban and recreation uses because of prolonged ponding and sandy texture.
• 74-Boca fine sand, slough- This is a nearly level, poorly drained soil in depression. In most years, under natural conditions, the water table is within 10 inches of the surface for 2 to 4 months. It is 10 to 40 inches below the surface from more than 4 months. During high rainfall, the soil is covered by a shallow layer of slowly moving water for periods of about 7 days to 1 month or more. FLUCFCS units occurring on this soil type include hydric melaleuca (4241), cypress (621), disturbed cypress (6219), disturbed fresh water marsh (6419), disturbed wet prairie (6439), borrow area (742), and cleared area (746). This soil has severe limitations for sanitary facilities and building site development, primarily because of the high water table.

Vegetation
The campus site was vegetated by a mosaic of vegetation communities composed of upland and wetland habitats. These communities represent both native habitats and areas significantly altered by past and current human activities. Protected plant species were found most commonly in native habitats, but also occur in areas that have undergone change and disturbance. Several areas, to some varied extent, were determined to have become infested with the problematic exotic
tree Melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia).

All major wetland and upland vegetation communities within the project site were mapped in the field during March and April, 1993, utilizing 1”=200’ scale unrectified aerial photography (March 1993). Extensive ground truthing and review of true color and false color infrared 1”=200’ scale aerial photograph (March 1, 1993) were utilized to confirm the location of boundaries between adjacent vegetative communities. The jurisdictional wetland vegetation communities onsite were flagged as the basis for binding jurisdictional determinations. These determinations were received, and the
wetland boundaries surveyed. The results of these tasks are described in the permits for the site (USACOE Permit No. 199400807 and SFWMD Permit No. 36-02881S).

A total of 22vegetative associations and/or land uses were delineated within the project site as identified in the SFWMD Permit. Sixteen are jurisdictional wetland areas, while the remaining six are upland.
• Palmetto Prairie, Disturbed- 21.3 acres or 2.8 percent of the site.
• Pine Flatwoods, Disturbed- 396.0 acres or 52 percent of the project site.
• Pine Flatwoods, Hydric, Disturbed 18.1 acres or 2.3 percent of the project site.
• Melaleuca- 2.9 acres or 02.3 percent of the project site.
• Melaleuca, Hydric- 72.1 acres or 9.4 percent of the project site.
• Melaleuca, Hydric, Cypress- 1.3 acres or 0.01 percent of the project site.
• Melaleuca, Hydric, Post-Burn- 10.8 acres or 1.4 percent of the project site.
• Melaleuca, Hydric, Pine-Cypress- 4.0 acres or 0.5 percent of the project site.
• Melaleuca, Hydric, Post-Scrape- 8.5 acres or 1.1 percent of the project site, located just south of a borrow lake north of the project site.
• Live Oak- 1.8 acres or 0.2 percent of the project site
• • Willow, Hydric- 0.5 acres or less than 0.1 percent of the project site
• Mixed Hardwoods, Hydric- 1.7 acres or 0.2 percent of the project site
• Drainage Canal – 3.1 acres or 0.4 percent of the project site
• Cypress, Disturbed- 123.0 acres or 16.1 percent of the project site.
• Freshwater Marsh- 18.7 acres or 2.4 percent of the project site.
• Freshwater Marsh, Disturbed- 10.6 acres or 1.3 percent of the project site.
• Wet Prairie- 6.4 acres or 0.8 percent of the project site, located between freshwater marsh (641) and disturbed pine flatwoods (4119).
• Wet Prairie, Disturbed- 28.0 acres or 3.6 percent of the project site.
• Borrow Areas- 0.8 acres or less than 0.1 percent of the project site, and consists mostly of open water.
• Fill Area- 0.5 acres or less than 0.1 percent of the project site, and consists of bare scraped earth and fill material both devoid of vegetation.
• Cleared Areas, Hydric- 12.7 acres or 1.6 percent of the project site.
• Berm- 0.4 acres or less than 0.1 percent of the project site.

The major upland community within the project site is disturbed pine Flatwoods (FLUCFCS Code 4119) and the major wetland community is disturbed cypress (FLUCFCS Code 6219).

Threatened and Endangered Plant Species
Twenty-nine species of protected plants were observed on the project site, and consist of 1 endangered, 22 threatened, 5 commercially exploited, 1 candidate for listing.

The most frequently encountered protected plants were:
• dahoon holly (Ilex cassine)
• stiff-leaved wild-pine (Tillandsia fasciculata)
• golden polypody (Phlebodium aureum)
• shoestring fern (Vittaria lineata)
• southern shield fern (Thelypteris kunthii),
• brake fern (Pteris vittata).

The least common were:
• branded wild-pine (Tillandsia flexuosa)
• cigar orchid (Cyrtopodium punctatum)
• pine lily (Lilium catesbaei)
• giant ladies’ tresses (Spiranthes praecox), and strap fern (Camplyloneuron pyllitidus), only one or two locations for each species were found.
• Bromeliads (Bromeliaceae)
• orchids (Orchideceae)
• ferns and fern-allies (Osmundaceae, Polypodiaceae, Psilotaceae, Pteridaceae, Schizaceae, Thlypteridaceae, and Vittariaeae) were the best represented groups, yielding the most numbers of species overall.

While the majority of protected plants were found in wetland areas such as cypress dominated wetlands, pine lily and brake fern occurred only in upland habitats such as disturbed pine flatwoods (FLUCFCS Code 4119) or disturbed palmetto prairie (FLUCFCS Code 3219). Brake fern and southern shield fern were often found in microhabitats such as the tops and sides of berms and mounds, which afford suitably drier conditions, even when located within wetland areas.

Wildlife
Detailed wildlife surveys were conducted during the weeks of March 15 March 22, July 13 and August 30, 1993. The pedestrian surveys consisted of two to three qualified ecologists walking a sufficient number of parallel overlapping belt transects through all suitable habitats to insure that 100 percent visual coverage of all ground and flora was observed. The ecologists were spaced between 25 feet and 100 feet apart depending on habitat visibility. Approximately 345 man hours were spent onsite conducting the surveys.

Five protected wildlife species were observed during these surveys. Species observed during the surveys included two American alligators, one Eastern indigo snake, and a gopher tortoise population estimate of ±12 gopher tortoises (20 active gopher tortoise burrows). Listed wading bird species (e.g., white ibis, snowy egret) were observed during the study, as well as a bald eagle and a potential snail kite perch. These species may possibly forage within wetlands on the campus site.

13.2 Current Condition
From the early planning stages of the University, the direction of the permitting and utilization of the University site has been towards the stewardship and conservation of all the aspects of the sensitive environment receptors of Southwest Florida. This University’s charge was, and is, to be the “Environmental University”. To that end and in preparation for submittal of the initial conceptual permit for the property, plans were made in conjunction with the various regulatory permitting agencies to develop the University within the existing mosaic of uplands and wetlands on the property.

Unavoidable impacts to isolated wetland were mitigated by enhancing and preserving connected wetland and upland systems throughout the campus. This mitigation includes the preservation of conservation areas within the FGCU campus. A majority of the existing wetlands systems were identified to be conserved and integrated into the University campus system. These wetlands were designated for preservation and enhancement via restoration of hydroperiods and removal of exotic vegetative species. This effort includes the restoration of two degraded major slough area. Upland preserve areas were also included into the overall restoration and enhancement effort to provide buffers to wetland preserves and wildlife habitat.

The phased development of the university has required that mitigation activities be completed in a phased manner consistent with construction activities on a basin by basin basis. The first phase of development involved construction within Basins 1 and 2 and involved approximately 29 acres of wetland impacts. Development within these basins involved the construction of a perimeter berm (on which the Loop Road was constructed); the development of the academic core buildings, and the construction of the main east/west entrance road. Mitigation activities for this phase of the development consisted of selective exotic vegetation removal from approximately 40
acres of historic pine flatwoods and disturbed wetlands. In addition, 19 acres of lakes and wetlands were created in areas of disturbed uplands and wetlands. The mitigation conducted in conjunction with this phase of development occurred within South Florida Water management District (SFWMD) Wetland numbers 4,5,6,8 and 0, as well as surrounding uplands.

The FGCU on-campus student housing development located within Basin 3 encompasses approximately 45 acres. Construction of the first and second phase of student housing and associated infrastructure impacted 13 acres of SFWMD jurisdictional wetlands. Mitigation for these impacts was accomplished via wetland creation (4 acres), upland preservation (21 acres), and wetland enhancement (39 acres).
The next phase of development consisted of the north entrance road. The north entrance road extends from Ben Hill Griffin PKWY on the west to the University Loop Road to the east. In addition an east/west service road was constructed in the lakefront mixed-use parcel. A total of approximately 9 acres of wetland impacts resulted from this phase of development. The mitigation conducted in associated with the construction of the north entrance road and east service road involved land located in the western slough (SFWMD Wetland number 8) and an upland area located adjacent to the slough. Total mitigation acreage was 45 acres, of which 39 acres consisted of wetland enhancement, and 6 acres of wetland creation.

Following construction of the north entrance road, development of the athletic and recreation fields within Basin 3 was initiated. Construction of the recreation fields and athletic facility area resulted in wetland impacts totaling 103 acres. In order to offset these impacts, 13 acres of wetlands were enhanced and/or preserved (SFWMD Wetland numbers 16, 18 and 22) and 13 acres of upland were preserved and enhanced. Three additional acres of wetlands and flow-ways were created in an area of disturbed pine flatwoods. The wetland and flow-way creation areas were part of the overall hydrological restoration planned for the eastern slough, and allow for a hydrologic connection between SFWMD Wetland numbers 15, 16, 18, 22 and 24.

The next phase of development involving wetland impacts was the completion of the Loop Road, an additional parking area, and associated sidewalks and water management. This phase totaled approximately 20 acres. Wetland impacts for this phase totaled approximately 4 acres. Mitigation for the wetland impacts included 26 acres of wetland enhancement (SFWMD Wetland numbers 8, 11, 13 and 14), 14 acres of upland enhancement and preservation, and <1 acre of wetland creation.

Development of the student housing in Basin 4, located in the southeast portion of the project, involved a crossing over the eastern slough (SFWMD Wetland number 24) a student housing facility and associated water management. The project area for this phase totaled approximately 52 acres and involved 4 acres of wetland impacts. Mitigation for this phase included 87 acres of wetland enhancement (SFWMD Wetland numbers 24, 27 and 28) and 46 acres of upland preservation.
A 2-megawatt solar facility has been constructed on approximately 72 acres located near Ben Hill Griffin PKWY.

Wetland impacts associated with the solar facility totaled less than 1 acre. The mitigation for this phase included approximately 12 acres of wetland enhancement (SFWMD Wetland numbers 1, 2 and 7) and 14 acres of upland preservation.

Since 2005, FGCU has received 22 permit modifications from the SFWMD. These permits include, but are not limited to, recreation areas, academic buildings, roadway improvements, solar facility, boardwalk, student union and student housing.

13.3 Projected Needs

FGCU was initially planned with a focus on distance learning and with 3,000 beds for onsite student housing. While distance learning through online classes is still part of FGCU’s program, there has been an increase in demand for traditional classroom participation by students. It is more beneficial to address this increase in demand by providing onsite facilities for the students to live in because this will reduce future congestion for offsite roads. The reduced congestion on offsite roads allows for safer travel and reduced energy consumption. This has lead to an increase in the number beds planned for FGCU from 3,000 to 5,671. The North Lake Village student housing complex will contain 1,984 beds at build out and the South Village student housing complex will contain 3,687 beds at build out.
The increase in capacity for the South Village student housing complex has necessitated the need for a secondary access. The South Village is currently accessed via a single road that connects to the Campus Loop Road. The increase in onsite student housing has also increased the need for other facilities, including recreational facilities. To address the increased demand for onsite student housing and recreational facilities, FGCU is currently planning a secondary access to the South Village through an adjacent property to Ben Hill Griffin PKWY. Any additional wetland impacts associated with this development will require permitting through the SFWMD and USACOE.

CAMPUS ECOSYSTEM MODEL (CEM):
Cypress Swamp (http://www.fgcu.edu/CAS/CEM/cypress.html)
These regularly inundated wetlands form a forested border along large rivers, creeks, and lakes, or occur in depressions as circular domes or linear strands. Cypress swamp communities are strongly dominated by either bald cypress or pond cypress, with very low numbers of scattered black gum, red maple, and sweetbay. Understory and ground cover are usually sparse due to frequent flooding but may include such species as buttonbush, lizard's-tail, and various ferns. The canopy of a cypress swamp is dense, and is produced by cypress and other trees as well as epiphytic plants.
Species List
Biota – Plants
• Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)
• Pond cypress (Taxodium ascendens)
• Black gum (Nyssa biflora)
• Red maple (Acer rubrum)
• Dahoon holly (Ilex cassine)
• Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
• Wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera)
• Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicons)
• Virginia creeper(Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
• Pickerelweed (Pontideria cordata)
• various ferns (Campyloneurum sp., Phlebodius sp.)
• Pond apple (Annona glabra)
• Cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco)
• Swamp lilly (Crinum americanum)
• Pop ash (Frazinus caroliniana)
• various oaks (Quercus sp.)
• various air plants (Tillandsia sp.)
Biota – Animals
• Otter (Lutra canadensis)
• Golden mouse (Ochrotomys nuttalli)
• Southeastern shrew (Sorex longirostris)
• Cotton mouse (Peromyscus gossypinus)
• Raccoons (Procyon lotor)
• Yellow-rumped warbler (Dendroica coronata)
• Pine warbler (Dendroica pinus)
• Limpkin (Aranus guarauna)
• White ibis (Eudocimes albus)
• Glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)
• Wood duck (Aix sponsa)
• Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)
• Mississippi kites (Ictinia mississippiensis)
• Swallow-tailed kites (Elanoides forficatus)
• Swainson's warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii)
• Prothonotary warbler (Protonotaria citrea)
• Marbled salamander (Ambystoma opacum)
• Four-toed salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum)
• Dwarf siren (Pseudobranhus striatus)
• Bird-voiced tree frog (Hyla avivoca)
• Alligator (alligator mississippiensis)
• burrowing sirens (Siren spp.)
• Amphiumas (Amphiuma means)
• Mud snake (Farancia abacura)
• Rainbow snake (Farancia erytrogramma)
Threatened or Endangered Species
• Florida black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus)
• Florida panther (Felis concolor coryi)
• Mangrove fox squirrel (Sciurus niger)
• Mink (Mustela vison)
• Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucaocephalus)
• Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

Lakes (http://www.fgcu.edu/CAS/CEM/lakes.html)
In addition to being surrounded by water on three sides, Florida is also home to some 10,400 freshwater lakes, many of which are located in northern Florida. Of these, more than 7800 are larger than 0.4 hectares, covering a total of 9270 square kilometers, more than six-percent of Florida’s landscape (Myers & Ewel, 1990). Lakes are a common feature of the landscape in some areas of Florida due in part to the abundance of rainfall and the flat irregular surface that characterizes the State. Many of Florida’s lakes are highly diverse in their flora and fauna; for example, approximately 40 species of native fishes and 20 species of nonnative fishes inhabit these systems. Florida lakes are unusual in that underground tunnels often connect them; however, they are not as "systemic" as riverine and canal systems (Alden et al., 1998). Because of this, invasive exotics have not been as successful invading lake ecosystems. In addition to fish, many different species of invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and water birds may be found in association with these lakes. Lakes not only harbor great numbers of plants and animals, but they also they also mitigate the surrounding microclimate. Extended, gradual heat release by lakes helps protect surrounding crops from freezing.
Species List
Biota - Plants
• Lance-leaved arrowhead (Sagittaria lancifolia)
• Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata)
• Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)
• Floating bladderwort (Utricularia inflata)
• Floating hearts (Nymphoides aquatica)
• Spatterdock (Nuphar luteum)
Biota - Animals
Fishes
• Golden topminnow (Fundulus chrysotus)
• Seminole killifish (Fundulus seminolis)
• Flagfish (Jordanella floridae)
• Bluefin killifish (Lucania goodei)
• Eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki)
• Sailfin molly (Poecilia latipinna)
• Least killifish (Heterandria formosa)
• Warmouth (Lepomis gulosus)
• Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)
• Redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus)
• Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides)
• Swamp darter (Etheostoma fusiforme)
• Black acara (Cichlasoma bimaculatum)
• Florida gar (Lepisosteus platyrhincus)
• Lake chubsucker (Erimyzon sucetta)
• Brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus)
• Walking catfish (Clarias batrachus)
• Armored catfish (Hoplosternum litorale)
Amphibians and Reptiles
• American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis),
• Snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentine)
• Soft-shelled turtle (Trionyx ferox)
• Common mud turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum)
• Common cooter (Pseudemys floridana)
• Slider (Trachemys scripta)
• Florida redbelly turtle (Pseudemys nelsoni)
• Brown water snake (Nerodia taxispilota)
• Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
• Green treefrog (Hyla cinerea)
• Southern cricket frog (Acris gryllus dorsalis)
• Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)
• Pig Frog (Rana grylio)
Birds
• Little blue heron (Egretta caerulea)
• Great egret (Ardea alba)
• Snowy egret (Egretta thula)
• Great blue heron (Ardea herodias)
• Tricolored heron (Egretta tricolor)
• Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
• White ibis (Eudocimus albus)
• Glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)
• Wood stork (Mycteria americana)

Mangrove Forests
Mangrove forests represent more than a collection of individual trees; they are a functioning system. Mangrove is a general term used to denote approximately 50 different salt-tolerant trees and shrubs occupying muddy, salt- and brackish-water shorelines (Gonick & Outwater, 1996). Although mangroves are also tolerant of freshwater, they are restricted to saltier environments because they are easily out-competed in freshwater systems (Nelson, 1994). These tropical species "flourish in average annual temperature ranges of greater than 65 degrees�[with]�few hard freezes" (Alden et al., 1998). In Florida, there are three true mangrove trees and an implied fourth: red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), black mangrove (Avicennia germinans), white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa), and buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus), often referred to as the gray mangrove (Myers & Ewel, 1990). The buttonwood is a pseudo-mangrove because it is often found in association with white mangroves.
Species List
Biota-Plants
• Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle)
• Black mangrove (Avicennia germinans)
• White mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa)
• Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus)
Biota - Animals
• Mangrove periwinkles (Littorina angulifera)
• Mangrove crabs (Aratus pisonii)
• Coffee-bean snails (Melampus coffeus)
• Saltwort (Batis maritime)
• Sea oxeye (Borrichia frutescens)
• Glasswort (Salicornia virginica)
• Southern glasswort (Salicornia perennis)
• Mangrove ferns (Acrosticum aureum)
• Mangrove crab (Sesarma)
• Wharf crab (Pachygrapsus)
• Fiddler crabs (Uca)
• Spotted mangrove crab (Goniopsis cruentata)
• Mangrove mud crab (Eurytium limosum)
• Common mud crab (Panopeus herbstii)
• Mangrove land crab (Ucides cordatus)
• Brown pelicans (Pelicanus occidentalis)
• Tricolored herons (Egretta tricolor)
• Great egret (Casmerodius albus)
• Snowy egret (Egretta thula)
• White ibises (Eudocimus albus)
• Roseate spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja)

Pine Flatwoods (http://www.fgcu.edu/CAS/CEM/pine.html)
A pine flatwoods can be most easily recognized by pine trees forming a canopy which is more open than, for example, the canopy in a cypress slough. A common species association in this ecosystem is pine-gallberry-saw palmetto. Common to southwest Florida and the FGCU campus is south Florida slash pine (Pinus elliottii var. densa): other pines that may be present in this system include slash pine (Pinus elliottii var. elliottii), longleaf pine (Pinus palustris), and pond pine (Pinus serotina). Areas considered upland or high pine are found from the Carolinas sweeping down into the peninsula of Florida. In northern parts of the state long leaf pine may appear more often than in the southern and southwestern parts of Florida. In the southern and southwest portions of the state the upland pines are dominated by slash pine. Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a typical understory species easily identified by large, fan-shaped leaves and trunks that tend to grow horizontally along the ground. Other common understory and groundcover species include wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera), tarflower (Befaria racemosa), gallberry (Ilex glabra), and a wide variety of grasses and herbs. Generally wiregrass (Aristida spp.) and runner oak dominate longleaf pine sites, fetterbush (Lyonia lucida) and bay trees are found in pond pine areas, while saw palmetto, gallberry, and rusty lyonia (Lyonia ferruginea) occupy slash pine flatwoods sites.

Species List
Biota - Plants
• bluejack oak(Quercus incana) may be dominant with turkey oak
• southern red oak or Spanish oak (Q. falcata) on more mesic, fertile sites
• blackjack oak (Q. marilandica) in the panhandle
• sand post oak (Q. stellata var. margaretta)
• live oak (Q. virginiana)
• Arkansas oak (Q. arkansana)
• persimmon(Diospyros virginiana)
• black cherry (Prunus serotina)
• sassafras (Sassafras albidum)
• mockernut hickory (Carya tomentosa)
• sand hickory (Carya pullida)
• sparkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum)
• pawpaw (Asimina incarna)
• myrtle oak (Quercus myrtifolia) and other evergreen oaks
• wiregrass (Aristida stricta)
• bluestems (Andropogon spp.)
• piney woods dropseed (Sporobolus junceus)
• bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum)
• gopher apple (Licania michauxii)
• golden aster (Pityopsis graminifolia)
• low-bush blueberry (Vaccinium myrsinities)
• blackberry (Rubus cuneifolius)
• hairawn muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris)
• Threatened or Endangered Plants:
• East coast coontie (Zamia umbrosa)
• Florida coontie (Zamia floridana)
• Godfrey's blazing star (Liatris provincialis)
Biota - Animals
• pocket gopher (Geomys pinetis)
• chicken turtle (Deirochelys reticularia)
• green anole (Anolis carolinesis)
• six lined race runner (Cnemidophorus sexlineatus)
• scarlet snake (Cemophora coccinea)
• pine snake (Pituophis melanoleucus)
• most of the common Florida pit vipers
• southern toad (Bufo terrestis)
• oak toad (Bufo quercicus)
• eastern spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrookii)
Threatened or Endangered Species:
• Florida mouse (Peromyscus floridanus)
• Florida panther (Felix concolor coryi)
• southeastern kestrel (Falco sparverius paulus)
• red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis)
• blue-tailed mole skink (Eumeces egregius lividius)
• eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi)
• short-tailed snake (Stilosoma extenuatum)
• gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)
• Sherman's fox squirrel (Sciurus niger shermani)
• black bear (Ursus americanus
• mink (Mustela vison).

Wet Prairie(http://www.fgcu.edu/CAS/CEM/prairie.html)
The transitional zone between land and water is referred to as a wetland, and marshes make up one third of Florida’s wetlands. "Marshes are wetlands dominated by herbaceous plants rooted in and generally emergent from shallow water that stands at or above the ground surface for much of the year" (Myers & Ewel, 1990). There are nine types of Florida marshes, and the wet prairie is the most common type of marsh found on Florida Gulf Coast University’s campus.
A wet prairie ecosystem can be identified by its lack of trees, sparse to dense ground cover of grasses and herbs, and flat terrain. The timing and length of the dry season, relative to the seed types available in the substrate, determine which flora germinate and flourish. Some examples of plant species found in marshes are maidencane (Panicum hemitomon), cordgrass (Spartina bakeri), beakrush (Rhynchospora spp.), and muhly (Muhlenbergia fillipes). Subtropical locations, fluctuating water levels, recurring fires, and hard water also shape marshes
Species List
Biota - Plants
• Maidencane (Panicum hemitomon)
• Tracy’s beakrush (Rynchospora tracyi)
• Saw grass (Cladium jamaicensis)
• Muhly (Muhlenbergia fillipes)
• Cordgrass (Spartina bakeri)
• White-topped sedge (Dichromena colorata)
• St. John’s-wort (Hypericum fasciculatum)
Biota - Animals
• Green tree frog (Hyla cinerea)
• Mud turtle (Kinosternon bauri)
• Pygmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius)
• American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)
• White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
• Florida panther (Felis concolor coryi)
• Green-backed heron (Butorides striatus)
• American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)
• White ibis (Eudocimus albus)
• Great egret (Ardea alba)
• Limpkin (Aramus guarauna)
• Snail kite (Rostrahamus sociabilis)
• Wood stork (Mycteria Americana)
• Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

FACULTY RESEARCH:
The following list of research includes some of the recent faculty projects that assess and monitor endangered/vulnerable species and environmentally sensitive areas:
Dr. John Herman
• Diversity Comparison of Herptefaunal Communities in FGCU Housing
• The Effects of Contamination on Macro-invertebrate Diversity on Three Ponds at FGCU Campus
Dr. Edwin Everham
• Effects of Land Conversion Projects on the Eastern Indigo Snake in South Florida
Dr. Charles Gunnels
• Effects of Urbanization on Florida Gulf Coast University’s Butterfly Communities
o The modification of wild environments alters species habitat; however, the effect of this modification can be variable depending on the specific species. Urbanization led to the location of FGCU’s campus being centered directly in a wild habitat. This location allowed for us to have the unique opportunity to study the possible impacts that modification has on various species. In this study, we asked whether urbanization has an effect on the butterfly communities at Florida Gulf Coast University. We continued a long-term census of the butterfly community by observing 10 transects throughout the FGCU campus. These transects equally represent both urban and wild habitats. Overall we saw a greater quantity of butterflies in the urban transects. The trends seen throughout the urban transects showed that Cloudless Sulphur’s were more abundant, while Queen’s were more prevalent in the wild transects. Our data suggests that the effect of urbanization within the FGCU campus is variable. Certain species benefited from the development of the campus while others were negatively affected due to the loss of wild habitat. Although urbanization has both positive and negative effects on various species throughout a community, the overall impact on species diversity are negligible.
• The Relationship Between Zooplankton and Physiochemical Properties at Florida Gulf Coast University Lakes
• Arthropod biodiversity in Sabal Palmettos between urban and natural environment
o Sabal palmettos support a high biodiversity of arthropods; we found 48 resident and pollinator species during the course of the study. We would expect that this number would increase if we sampled across the year and days well as at additional locations.

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE (ESC):
-In 2006, FGCU's Environmental Stewardship Advisory Council (ESAC) created the Environmental Stewardship Management Plan to continue the efforts of the Environmental Management System. (http://www.fgcu.edu/Provost/files/2006_EnvStewMgtPlan_Final.pdf)
-In 2013 the ESC submitted the FGCU Campus Land Use report which can be found here (http://www.fgcu.edu/Provost/files/Final_Campus_Land_Use_Report.pdf)
-The ESC will work on the Best Management Practices for FGCU in the fall of 2014. Check FGCU’s Office of the Provost website (http://www.fgcu.edu/Provost/escommittee.html) for the most current updates on that report.


A brief description of plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

Please see the details of the reports mentioned above and note the following:

CAMPUS PLANNING:
-FGCU commissioned the relocation of gopher tortoises before a phase of our Housing projects took place.

CAMPUS ECOSYSTEM MODEL:
This resource is updated regularly and informs the campus planning process.

FACULTY RESEARCH:
The faculty research mentioned above is disseminated to the campus community through research days, lectures, and their participation on university shared governance committees that inform the campus plans.

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE (ESC):
-In 2006, FGCU's Environmental Stewardship Advisory Council (ESAC) created the Environmental Stewardship Management Plan to continue the efforts of the Environmental Management System.
-In 2013 the ESC submitted the FGCU Campus Land Use report which can be found here (http://www.fgcu.edu/Provost/files/Final_Campus_Land_Use_Report.pdf)
-The ESC will work on the Best Management Practices for FGCU in the fall of 2014. Check FGCU’s Office of the Provost website (http://www.fgcu.edu/Provost/escommittee.html) for the most current updates on that report.


The website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity policies and programs(s) is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.