North Fork Mitigation
Newaukum Bank, Lewis County
Mitigation banking can be thought of as a type of "savings account" for mitigation. The bank owner (also referred to as the sponsor) creates, restores, enhances and preserves functioning wetlands prior to environmental impacts. These acres are then converted to “bank credits” that can be used later as compensation for unavoidable wetland impacts within the bank's specified service area. Because a mitigation bank generates ecological functions before wetland impacts, its mitigation value increases as the site matures prior to its use as mitigation. Bank credits, the currency of mitigation banking, can be roughly defined as the net increase in wetland area and/or ecological function provided by a bank site.
How does WSDOT develop mitigation banks?
WSDOT's wetland banking efforts have been conducted according to a Wetland Banking Memorandum of Agreement (pdf 219 kb) (MOA) between WSDOT and state and federal regulatory agencies. Under the MOA, WSDOT chairs a Mitigation Bank Oversight Committee (BOC), comprised of representatives from the Department of Ecology, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and representatives from the appropriate local government. As mitigation banks are proposed, regular meetings of the BOC serve as the primary means by which committee members exchange views and recommendations on various draft components of the mitigation bank instrument. Components include site design(s), bank service area, credits accrued, buffers/setbacks, performance measures, credit-release schedule, and monitoring plans. The bank becomes certified and available for use upon signature of the banking agreement/instrument by representatives serving on the BOC.
Where are WSDOT's mitigation banks?
Location of WSDOT Mitigation Bank Sites
WSDOT has three certified mitigation banks. Additional information about WSDOT's banking program can be found by reading the wetland banking fact sheet.
Does WSDOT use private mitigation banks?
WSDOT is interested in using credits at private entrepreneurial mitigation banks that have been certified through the Department of Ecology's wetland banking program. Ecology provides guidance on Using Credit from Wetland Mitigation Banks (pdf 58 kb), and WSDOT has a process to procure credit from third-party mitigation banks.