Identifying opportunities to restore wetlands in Virginia
Just over 15 years ago, wetland mitigation banks were pretty unheard of. The practice allows a property owner to restore, create, enhance, and preserve wetland or stream resources, then sell credits to developers who have incurred unavoidable impacts to other wetlands or streams.
The York River Mitigation Bank (YRMB) in King William County covers 959 acres along three miles of the Pamunkey River and includes 13 miles of stream mitigation and over 230 acres of wetland mitigation. Since 1998, we’ve been their environmental consultants. During that time we’ve completed resource surveys, Interagency Review Team coordination, and detailed stream and wetland mitigation assessment. We also contributed design, construction plans, agency permitting, contractor coordination, and construction oversight.
Through several phases of development, planting, and monitoring, over 163 acres of wetlands have been restored, created, or preserved as part of the YRMB. Our focus is on working with the existing topography and soils to identify opportunities where we can restore and create wetland features that fit naturally into the landscape.
Likewise, we’ve restored many degraded stream channels and worked with the property owner to establish and maintain wider buffers on these streams to prevent future damage.
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