What is Mitigation Banking?

Impacts to wetlands that result from development must be mitigated. This involves quantifying those impacts, a process of measuring the value of the wetland functions that will be lost due to the development action.

Impacts are weighed against the ecological lift associated with a proposed mitigation plan. The goal of this assessment of wetland impacts is to ensure that there is no net loss of wetland functions resulting from development.

No matter how well designed a mitigation plan, it is not intended to result in more wetland acres or ecological function than was on the map prior to the development, it is simply meant to offset the impacts. In fact there is often a net loss of wetland acres, and unfortunately, much of the ecological lift associated with mitigation plans occurs in deep wetlands, or uplands, while most of the impacts occur in shallow wetlands (Conservation Policy – UMAM). This is not additive restoration, and at best results in an even trade.

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