DEP issues final order to punish Port St. Lucie resort for destroying mangrove forest

Sandpiper Bay Resort has five months to restore a mangrove forest it destroyed to create a beach and unobstructed view of the St. Lucie River, according to a Jan. 23 state order.

The resort blamed a tornado for yanking out the trees, DEP reports say; however, the National Weather Service told TCPalm there was no twister. At worst, a tornado more likely would have removed the trees’ leaves, not entirely knocked down nearly 1,000 trees, said Stuart-based Florida Oceanographic Society scientist Lorae Simpson. 

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