Broward County Says 'Alligator Ron' Illegally Impacted Wetlands

Feb 11, 2019

A long time Florida developer who was recently appointed to the South Florida Water Management District by Governor Ron DeSantis violated county policy when he built a fence in a wetland, according to Broward County documents.

Ron Bergeron, who is known as "Alligator Ron," was issued a six-count violation signed Feb. 7, 2019, related to wetlands in Southwest Ranches.

Broward County gave Bergeron permission late last year to build a fence around land he owns with an environmental resource license. The county's environmental and growth management department stated that Bergeron violated the terms of the license.

The violations include: improper use of heavy equipment when only light pressure equipment was permitted; improper placement of cut-down trees; and causing signs of stress to soil.

Read More: DeSantis Unveils Environmental Budget Proposal, Two South Florida Water Mgmt. Appointments

Bergeron, an eighth-generation Floridian and former member of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said he does not believe the issues are violations.

"I've spent half my life trying to save the environment," he said. "I don't believe I've done any violations to start with. That's my opinion."

Bergeron also said he had an arborist survey done before he cleared any land, and that the fence was necessary.

"Without a fence we could not stop people from illegally dumping and trespassing," he said.

A hearing has been set for March 28 to determine any civil penalties, if Bergeron doesn't settle with the county first. He could face a maximum fine of up to $15,000 per violation for each day that he is found to be in violation.