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A Primer on Wetland Mitigation Banking

Dallas 390 winter 2015Over the past two years I have received several dozen calls from entities that are looking for properties suitable for wetland mitigation opportunities. Today I showed another property to a prospective mitigation buyer. We looked at all of the creeks, streams, wetland areas, and water courses on the property. These prospective buyers have a very specific set of criteria that they are looking for in a property. The aim of this article is to help provide some elementary information about mitigation banking to landowners.

The general concept of wetland mitigation is fairly simple. If a wetland or stream is altered or impaired, then the developer or contractor can purchase credits from a mitigation bank that has repaired or improved a wetland in the same watershed as the impaired area. The purpose of wetland mitigation is to preserve, restore, or enhance our precious water resources.

These projects may be undertaken by government entities, non-profit organizations, or corporations. Mitigation projects must be approved and monitored by federal, and sometimes state, regulatory agencies. Federal agencies involved with mitigation banking include the Environmental Protection Agency, Army Corps of Engineers, US Fish and Wildlife Service , and the USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Department among others.  There is a written guidance to govern the projects that has been jointly established by these government agencies. Section 404 of the EPA’s Clean Water Act also has provisions for mitigation banking.

There are countless nuances to mitigation banking, far too many to delve into the specifics of how they all work or what these buyers are looking for because it varies from entity to entity. If you are a landowner interested in more information, please feel free to contact me to find out if your property is a suitable candidate. This article covers only the minimal amount of information about the subject, and I am happy to discuss your specific situation.

Written by: Jonathan Goode– Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) with Southeastern Land Group is a licensed broker in Alabama and Mississippi