Wetlands & Mitigation

Why is it called a bank?

Safeguarding Our Valuable Wetlands

Similar to a typical bank, where money is stored and protected, a wetlands mitigation bank is a consolidated area in which valuable environmental resources are created, restored, enhanced or preserved.  A mitigation bank offers the increase of wetlands (credits) as a replacement for wetlands that will be impacted or destroyed by future projects (debits). When compared to a series of fragmented, smaller wetlands, a consolidation of wetlands in a mitigation bank provides a greater diversity of habitat, preserves natural areas, creates a more sustainable system, and increases overall effectiveness of wetland functions.

Mitigation banks are composed of the site itself; a formal agreement between the bank owners and government regulators; an Interagency Review Team to provide review and oversight; and a geographical service area in which permitted wetlands impacts can be exchanged for bank credits. The Greens WetBank, for example, has been permitted and in operation since its Memorandum of Agreement was signed by the Flood Control District, the Corps and other regulatory agencies in 1995.