In the national attempt to achieve “no-net-loss” of wetlands, the business of wetland mitigation banking has experienced enormous growth over the past few decades. These banks’ purpose is to compensate for wetland loss due to development through the restoration and creation of wetlands elsewhere. While this mitigates the rate of wetland loss, “no-net-loss” is not truly achieved because development is the only federally recognized force destroying wetlands today. Wetland mitigation banks should be required to take sea level rise into account when selecting new sites, and forbidden from using sites where function losses exceed 5% within 50 years, using the “low” sea level rise projections included in the Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s 2013 Recurrent Flooding Study. This will ensure longer lasting protected wetlands in the mitigation banks, and decrease developer-based wetland destruction.
Poster session for the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar.
Baer, Julia. "Requiring Responsible Mitigation Banking." Poster session for Environmental Studies Senior Seminar, University of Richmond, April 21, 2015.