Greens Wetbank

History of Greens Wetbank

New Response to a Developing Demand

The Greens Bayous Wetlands Mitigation Bank was first conceived in 1993 by the late John M. Koros, who was then the Harris County Flood Control District's Environmental Services Manager. The idea for a mitigation bank came in response to the rapidly growing volume and high cost of wetlands mitigation associated with the Flood Control District's construction of stormwater detention basins.

First in Harris County

Greens WetBank was created in response to a growing need for large-scale, regional wetlands mitigation. It was the first of its kind in Harris County, and today is one of the largest mitigation banks in the Texas Gulf Coast region. The created and enhanced wetlands and mixed-hardwood forests of Greens WetBank provide wildlife habitat, naturally filter urban runoff, and store stormwater during rain events. Many water-dependent species - including alligators, osprey and ducks - either shelter here year round, or stop over during annual migrations. It is permanently protected under conservation easements.

In July 1993, the Harris County Flood Control District's preliminary Master Plan for a 200-acre mitigation bank in the Greens Bayou watershed received U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approval. The bank was to be located on Flood Control District land acquired in the early 1990s, which had been previously harvested for timber in the 1980s, and also used as pastureland.

On March 17, 1994, the Texas Water Development Board awarded the first of two $100,000 grants to begin planning studies for the bank. The second grant was awarded on March 21, 1996.

In August 1995, the Flood Control District signed a Memorandum of Agreement with seven federal and state agencies to create the Greens Bayou Wetland Mitigation Bank. The MOA included the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas General Land Office, and the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission.

The MOA established the criteria for assessing minimum success, designated the Wetland Evaluation Technique 2.0 (WET 2.0) as the method for determining bank credits and debtor site impacts, and delineated the geographic area from which debtor sites would be eligible to obtain credits (originally non-tidal Harris County). It also specified monitoring, maintenance, record keeping and reporting requirements.