Environmental Review Information for Citizens


  • (941) 748-4501

The primary duties of the Environmental Review Section (ERS) are to evaluate development proposals for consistency with the requirements of the the Manatee County Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code. Further, ERS staff responds to complaints regarding violations of those requirements and conducts inspections to determine if projects are being constructed in accordance with approvals or determines if violations have occurred within already constructed developments. Our staff also spends a significant amount of time talking to potential purchasers and sellers of properties to provide information regarding the environmental policies of Manatee County.

Listed below are some user friendly links for residents, visitors and potential citizens of Manatee County. Please visit our Environmental Review for Development page for additional information regarding requirements for development in Manatee County.

Boat Docks and Waterfront Structures

Boat Dock

Waterfront Structures, including boat docks, seawalls, and rip rap, are regulated by Manatee County in accordance with Section 511.17 of the Manatee County Land Development Code.

Generally, no waterfront or erosion control structures shall be erected, expanded, or reconstructed except in accordance with: an Administrative Permit and the applicable provisions of (1) the General Permit requirements by Army Corps of Engineers (COE); (2) the general consent criteria of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) requirements, (§ 403.813(2) F.S.) and (3) separate permits issued by DEP, COE and the Southwest Florida Water Management District for certain waterfront structures, which must be obtained prior to the construction of the structure.



Mangrove trimming is regulated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and local jurisdictions which have delegated authority in accordance with The 1996 Mangrove Trimming and Preservation Act (403.9321 - 403.9333 F.S.). Manatee County has not been granted delegated authority by the FDEP and therefore Mangrove areas are regulated as any other wetland area in accordance with LDC Section 706.

FDEP Southwest District

FDEP Mangrove Information

Tree Protection


Tree Preservation and Tree Removal & Replacement requirements for both homeowners and commercial development projects are reviewed by the Environmental Review Section. Homeowners with street tree issues are allowed to remove a tree IF the tree issue meets certain conditions for removal. The authorization to remove a street tree is handled by an online tree removal authorization process. Within submitted development project plans, staff reviews the civil and landscape plans to ensure that tree removal and replacement ratios are accurate, roadway landscape buffers, perimeter screening buffers, vehicle use area landscaping, and foundation landscaping requirements per Land Development Code requirements are being met. For existing developments, tree removal and replacement is reviewed and handled via the Tree Removal Permit process. Staff ensure that plant species selected for plantings are from the correct USDA cold hardiness zone and follow the right plant-right place principle.

Often, both the reviewer and the UF Manager will meet with and assist the applicant with suggested species for specific planting situations. This is for the purpose of reducing future conflicts between proposed plantings and improvements.

Tree Preservation & Removal/Replacement is required to be addressed with development projects and is reviewed by the Environmental Review Section together with the Urban Forestry Manager. Separate Tree Removal Permits are required for existing developments and some residences where tree removal is desired and are reviewed by the Urban Forestry Manager, sometimes with assistance from development reviewers.

Section 700 of the Land Development Code

Online Notification for Tree Removal/Replacement on Single Family Lots

Florida Friendly Landscaping 

Trees and Power lines

FPL's Guide to Trees and Power Lines
List of Trees in Central Florida

Wetland Protection


Wetland protection in Manatee County began with the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan in 1989 and the subsequent adoption of the Land Development Code. All parcels created after the date of adoption are subject to Manatee County wetland protection policies. The Comprehensive Plan consists of Goals, Objectives and Policies that guide the growth of the County, while the Land Development Code has specific technical criteria that must be met when development occurs. The criteria must be met on all types of development from large scale Developments of Regional Impact (DRI) to Building Permits for single family homes and everything in between. Wetlands are also regulated by the State of Florida through either the Florida Department of Protection (FDEP) or one of the Water Management Districts. Manatee County is located within the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD).

Manatee County does not have its own criteria for what constitutes as jurisdictional wetland. Wetland locations and boundaries are determined through the Uniform Wetland Delineation Method (Chapter 62-340 F.A.C.) and approved by either the FDEP or SWFWMD.

Groundwater/Wellhead protection requirements are found within LDC Section 704; Wetland protection requirements are found within LDC Section 706; wetland buffer protection requirements are found within LDC Section 706.7.


Listed below are some useful links regarding wetlands.

Manatee County Natural Resources Map Viewer

National Wetlands Inventory

Southwest Florida Water Management District

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program