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Upgrading Public Safety Infrastructure While Protecting Threatened Species. Challenge Accepted!

WGI’s Environmental Team conducted a due-diligence assessment for a communication complex that was over 50 years old. During their assessment, they discovered the site was being utilized as a habitat for a state-threatened listed species of owl, the Florida burrowing owl!
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The Office of Regional Communications and Technology (ORCAT) in Broward County, Florida is responsible for all public safety communications, including the consolidated regional E-911 call tracking and dispatching system. Needless to say, their work is critical in keeping citizens and the public safe.

When it was time to upgrade a portion of their critical communication infrastructure, they called WGI’s experts to assist. Our Environmental team conducted a due diligence assessment of the natural, cultural and historical resources for a planned radio communication transmission tower replacement project.

The ORCAT tower replacement consisted of upgrading a guywire anchor-supported tower to a free-standing structure, the demolition of an equipment shelter in disrepair, and construction of a new equipment shelter to accommodate the new tower.

Florida Burrowing Owl Environmental Services

WGI provided supporting environmental documentation and recommendations to Broward County for the preparation of a Conservation Management Plan in accordance with Florida Rule. This included an assessment of land uses, wetlands, protected species, trees, contamination, and other natural and physical resources.

Because the communication complex was over 50 years old, WGI also assessed the historical significance of the project site.

burrowing owl
Photo Credit – Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Our environmental scientists performed field investigations and found the site was utilized as a habitat for a state-threatened listed species of owl, the Florida burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia floridana). Given that protected owls were observed on-site, WGI scientists collected data using a sub-meter accuracy Global Positioning System (GPS) and mapped owl burrows using ArcMap GIS.

WGI provided the County with recommendations based on the current Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) guidance on avoidance and minimization measures for reference during the project planning and design phases to ensure compliance with the FWC species-specific permitting criteria.

The end-user of the report stated,

“This report is extremely thorough and exactly what we are looking for.”


Everything Environmental

WGI’s Environmental experience and expertise can play a vital role in protecting your next project and the environment. Contact our team today and let’s discuss how we can make your next project the most successful yet.

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Earlier this month, WGI Environmental Scientists, Amanda Montgomery and Christa Cherry participated in a two-day South Florida Association of Environmental Professionals (SFAEP) wetland delineation workshop.


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