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The mangrove ecosystem is "one of the most productive and biologically diverse wetlands on Earth," providing habitats worldwide for thousands of species, including both threatened and endangered species. Although the mangroves of Florida are concurrently governed by federal, state and, often, local regulations, they are still subject to depletion through dredging and filling, and are sacrificed for private riparian rights of view. At the foundation6 of mangrove depletion is the failure of the Florida Legislature and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to fully account for the values served by the mangrove ecosystem in dredge and fill permitting and under the Mangrove Trimming and Preservation Act ("Mangrove Act"). This article will briefly identify the use and nonuse values served by the mangrove ecosystem, examine the real societal cost of dredging or trimming a mangrove under the current legal structure in Florida, and propose adjustments to account for the loss incurred by society when a mangrove is dredged or trimmed.



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