WASHINGTON — A northern Ohio wetland mitigation bank project received $350,000 through the Natural Resources Conservation Service, part of a $7 million effort to help farmers comply with wetland conservation provisions in the last farm bill.
NRCS Chief Jason Weller announced Aug. 18 that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is funding agricultural wetland mitigation banks in 10 Midwest and Northern Great Plain states.
The Ohio project is coordinated by the North Coast Regional Council of Park Districts, comprised of the Erie MetroParks, Lorain County Metropolitan Park District, and the Sandusky, Medina County and Wood county park districts.
The Northern Ohio project area will be close to Lake Erie. Five wetlands mitigation bank sites will be immediately available, with 40 more additional bank sites planned for restoration. The proposed bank sites will be publicly owned.
What is it
The Wetland Mitigation Banking Program, created by the 2014 farm bill, helps states, local governments or other qualified partners develop wetland mitigation banks that restore, create, or enhance wetland ecosystems, broadening the conservation options available to farmers and ranchers so they can maintain eligibility for other USDA programs.
Wetland mitigation banking uses a market-based approach to restore, create, or enhance wetlands in one place to compensate for unavoidable impacts to wetlands at another location.
Banked wetland mitigation credits are made available after the restoration, creation, or enhancement of previously converted wetlands protected by a conservation easement. Wetland mitigation requires the replacement of all lost wetland functions, values, and acres.
Other projects receiving funding include:
- Georgia – Corblu Ecology Group, LLC;
- Illinois – Magnolia Land Partners, LLC;
- Iowa – Iowa Agricultural Mitigation, Inc.;
- Michigan – Michigan Quality of Life Agencies (Department of Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Department of Environmental Quality);
- Minnesota – Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources;
- Missouri – Minton Environmental Consultants, LLC;
- Nebraska – Westervelt Ecological Services, LLC;
- North Dakota – Dakota Wetland Partners, LLC;
- South Dakota – Dakota Wetland Partners, LLC.
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