Wetland mitigation banking has several benefits over traditional site-specific mitigation, otherwise known as permittee-responsible mitigation, which typically involves creating small wetlands usually on the same property as a proposed development. Historically, site-specific mitigations have had a very significant failure rate due to several factors including: small size, improper maintenance, isolated location, and lack of regulatory oversight. In fact, according to EGLE, only 1 in every 5 site-specific mitigations is considered successful.
In comparison, wetland mitigation banks are typically larger sites (more than 10 acres) and are strategically located to maximize wetland function and successful establishment. Banks are located in areas that provide the most benefit for the watershed. The approval of wetland banks requires significant regulatory oversight and the documentation of success before wetland “credits” can be sold. The large size, upfront documentation of success, and long-term management requirements of banks result in high quality wetland habitat and significant water quality benefits for the watershed.