Couple Fined $1.6 Million For Cutting Mangroves

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — A Palm Beach County couple’s decision to chop down 109 mangroves from their property along the Loxahatchee River may cost them $1.6 million.

Magistrate Paul Nicoletti on Wednesday ordered Roger and Myrna Byrd to pay the town of Jupiter $15,000 per tree.

The Palm Beach Post reports the Byrds didn’t have proper state and town permits when they cleared the mangroves. The couple turned down an offer from Jupiter officials to pay $1,000 per tree.

Attorney Greg Kino says his clients will appeal the ruling.

The Byrds still face a potential $43,100 fine from the state Department of Environmental Protection for chopping down the mangroves.

The spindly trees act as a nursery for sea life and reduce erosion. They have been protected by the state since 1985.

Source: Palm Beach Post, Associated Press