USDA invests in Wetland Mitigation Banking Program

FROM NEWS REPORTS
Stock photo.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded nearly $5 million in grant funding for the Wetland Mitigation Banking Program, a grant program that supports the development of mitigation banks for the restoration, creation or enhancement of wetlands to compensate for unavoidable impacts to wetlands at another location. 

The awarded funding adds to the more than $12.4 million that has been provided to 13 partners in 11 states since 2016. This year’s awards prioritized projects in states with large amounts of wetlands as well as large numbers of producers with wetland determination requests. 

Awarded projects include $581,000 for Magnolia Land Partners LLC in Illinois; $516,000 for Wisconsin DNR; $496,000 for Corblu Ecology Group LLC in Georgia; $846,000 for Magnolia Land Partners LLC in Nebraska; $992,000 for Minton Environmental Consultants LLC in Missouri; $575,000 for Wildlife Mississippi; and $875,000 for North Dakota Agricultural Mitigation Inc. 

“The Wetland Mitigation Banking Program supports critical wetland restoration and protection while also expanding options for farmers and ranchers,” said Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Terry Cosby. “Wetlands provide valuable ecosystem functions, including wildlife habitat and groundwater recharge. These projects allow us to collaborate with states, local governments and other qualified partners to restore, create and enhance wetland ecosystems.” 

The WMBP helps agricultural producers comply with wetland conservation provisions and conserve ecologically important wetlands by allowing for off-site mitigation through the purchase of credits from wetland banks established and run by local partners.