Session 15: Banking in Urban and Suburban Settings

c) Wetland and Stream Compensatory Mitigation in Urban Landscapes

Friday, May 12
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Room 311/312

Many landscapes in the United States are dominated by land uses that support or are being altered to support human populations. People that live in urban areas need the ecological functions and services provided by wetlands, streams, and other types of aquatic resources. Some of those needs can be served by wetland and stream compensatory mitigation projects and other types of mitigation in developed or developing areas. There is flexibility in the standards and requirements in the Corps’ mitigation regulations to serve those needs for aquatic resource functions and services, with the understanding that there will be some trade-offs that have to be recognized and accepted.

I will discuss some general considerations for planning and decision-making for wetland and stream compensatory mitigation projects in urban and urbanizing landscapes. These considerations would apply to mitigation banks, in-lieu fee programs, and permittee-responsible mitigation. I will present information on some of the trade-offs that ought to be considered by permitting authorities, commenting agencies, and local stakeholders. Aspects of wetland and stream compensatory mitigation that will be covered by this presentation include setting goals and objectives for wetland and stream restoration projects, applying a watershed approach, site selection, setting ecological performance standards, use of adaptive management, embracing risk and uncertainty, and determining appropriate long-term management. I will also discuss how local support for urban mitigation projects can help these projects be protected and sustained over the long term and provide value to the community. I will also talk about alternative mitigation approaches that have the potential to provide important ecological functions and services to urban or urbanizing areas.

David B. Olson

Regulatory Program Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

David Olson is a Regulatory Program Manager at the Headquarters office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He has worked for the Corps since 1991, beginning as a Regulatory Project Manager at the Baltimore District, evaluating permit applications for work in waters and wetlands. In 2002, he began working at his current position at Corps Headquarters. He has worked on developing regulations, guidance, and policies for wetland and stream mitigation. He also manages the Corps’ nationwide permit program and works on Endangered Species Act compliance for Department of the Army permits.

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c) Wetland and Stream Compensatory Mitigation in Urban Landscapes

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