What is Mitigation Banking?
Mitigation banking is the process of restoring, creating, enhancing, and preserving streams and wetlands for the purpose of compensating for unavoidable impacts to streams and wetlands at another location. Mitigation banks compensate for ecological loss to wetlands and streams resulting from development, but it is also used for impacts from agriculture. Once a stream or wetland has been restored to its natural state and function, credits can be generated and sold, and a conservation easement will be placed on the wetland area to prevent any future degradation.
Increasing industrialization and urbanization continues to negatively impact natural habitats, streams, and wetlands. Mitigation banks provide an opportunity to protect nature and its diversity by offsetting this impact.
Types of Mitigation Banking:
Over time streams can become damaged from both natural and human-made activities. These activities include a recent flood, hurricane, contamination from agricultural activities, depletion of the water source, and many more. By returning the stream to its original function, nutrients and water flow will be restored, and the greater area will benefit for many years to come.
This type of mitigation includes wetland enhancement, restoration, and creation and/or preservation projects that serve to offset unavoidable wetland impacts. These negative impacts generally stem from infrastructure developments and agricultural practices that encroach on existing wetlands.
Establishment of a permanent conservation easement around a functional stream to limit or restrict any activity that may adversely impact the physical or biological characteristics of a site. Riparian buffers consist of riparian plantings, i.e., trees, shrubs, and other plants that grow well in bank-side conditions. In most cases they are protected by a permanent conservation easement.
A type of nutrient management that aims to reduce the amount of point and non-point sources of Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) that enter the watershed.
Eco Terra is currently exploring investment opportunities in mitigation banking by locating suitable properties and pursuing regulatory approval. Current areas of interest include North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.