On-Site Soils can handle all your wetland needs from site delineation to mitigation planning. A wetland delineation is performed to identify and locate all jurisdictional areas. These areas include, but are not limited to, farm ponds, streams, drainageways, and wetlands. If the proposed development is to impact any of these areas, a permit must be obtained, the Corps of Engineers may require a change in development or deny the project completely. On-Site Soils can assist you through the permit process.
Preliminary Site Assessments of Properties for Possible Ecosystem Bank Development
Development of Mitigation Banking Instruments – Stream, Wetland and Endangered Species
Coordination of State and Federal Agencies
Phase I Environmental Site Assessments
Construction and Oversight
Marketing of ecosystem credits
On-Site Soils can assist you through the mitigation process from stream and wetland restoration plans to mitigation bank planning and development. On-Site Soils developed the banking instrument and obtained approval for Little Dardenne Creek Mitigation Bank. This bank is the third of its kind in the U.S. Mitigation banks are becoming a popular trend for developers that require compensation for impacts to jurisdictional waterbodies on their projects. Once again, On-Site Soils can assist you with the most minor mitigation to large scale mitigation planning.
What is a Mitigation Bank?
A mitigation bank is a wetland, stream, or other aquatic resource area that has been restored, established, enhanced, or (in certain circumstances) preserved for the purpose of providing compensation for unavoidable impacts to aquatic resources permitted under Section 404 or a similar state or local wetland regulation. A mitigation bank may be created when a government agency, corporation, nonprofit organization, or other entity undertakes these activities under a formal agreement with a regulatory agency.
Mitigation banks have four distinct components:
The bank site: the physical acreage restored, established, enhanced, or preserved;
The bank instrument: the formal agreement between the bank owners and regulators establishing liability, performance standards, management and monitoring requirements, and the terms of bank credit approval;
The Interagency Review Team (IRT): the interagency team that provides regulatory review, approval, and oversight of the bank; and
The service area: the geographic area in which permitted impacts can be compensated for at a given bank.
The value of a bank is defined in “compensatory mitigation credits.” A bank’s instrument identifies the number of credits available for sale and requires the use of ecological assessment techniques to certify that those credits provide the required ecological functions. Although most mitigation banks are designed to compensate only for impacts to various wetland types, some banks have been developed to compensate specifically for impacts to streams (i.e., stream mitigation banks).
Mitigation banks are a form of “third-party” compensatory mitigation, in which the responsibility for compensatory mitigation implementation and success is assumed by a party other than the permittee. This transfer of liability has been a very attractive feature for Section 404 permit-holders, who would otherwise be responsible for the design, construction, monitoring, ecological success, and long-term protection of the site.
What is a Riparian Area?
Riparian areas or zones have been defined in several ways, but they are essentially the narrow strips of land that border creeks, rivers or other bodies of water. Because of their proximity to water, plant species and topography of riparian zones differ considerably from those of adjacent uplands. Although riparian areas may occupy only a small percentage of the area of a watershed, they represent an extremely important component of the overall landscape.
A healthy, functioning riparian area and associated uplands dramatically increase benefits such as fish and wildlife habitat, erosion control, forage, late season stream-flow, and water quality.
Riparian ecosystems are extremely productive and have diverse habitat values for wildlife. The linear nature of riparian ecosystems provides distinct corridors that are important as migration and dispersal routes and as forested connectors between habitats for wildlife. Riparian ecosystems also provide shelter, nesting areas, for gaging breeding areas for many types of threatened or endangered species.
Roles and functions:
Riparian zones dissipate stream energy. The meandering curves of a river, combined with vegetation and root systems, dissipate stream energy, which results in less soil erosion and a reduction in flood damage. Sediment is trapped, reducing suspended solids to create less turbid water, replenish soils, and build stream banks. Pollutants are filtered from surface runoff which enhances water quality via biofiltration.
What is a Wetland?
Wetlands are defined as “those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions.
Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas.”
Since wetlands lie at the interface of terrestrial and aquatic habitats, they possess a unique mixture of species, conditions, and interactions. As a result, wetlands are among our planet’s most diverse and varied habitats.
Wetlands are habitat for thousands of migrating ducks and geese as well as other fish, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Wetlands also filter water by slowing down water and removing many of the pollutants before they get to our larger streams and rivers.
Since 1980 more than half of the 221 million acres of pre-settlement wetlands have been destroyed.