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Wetland and Stream Mitigation: A Handbook for Land Trusts

Land trusts across the country are being asked to participate in wetland and stream mitigation projects. Some are holding easements on these properties. Others are agreeing to provide long-term management of these sites. Still others are carrying out restoration projects on their fee lands to satisfy the compensatory mitigation needs of permittees.

These projects offer opportunities for a land trust to build its network of conservation lands, expand its staff and expertise, and provide new streams of income for land restoration and protection, as well as easement monitoring and defense. But these projects also expose land trusts to risk.

Thanks to the support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Environmental Law Institute and the Land Trust Alliance announce the release of a new resource, Wetland and Stream Mitigation:  A Handbook for Land Trusts, which was designed to provide land trusts with a starting point for understanding the opportunities and liabilities associated with taking on a compensatory mitigation project. The handbook provides readers with:

  • Background on Section 404 of the Clean Water Act
  • An overview of the different phases of a compensatory mitigation project
  • A discussion of the different roles that a land trust can play in compensatory mitigation
  • A framework for land trusts to assess their participation in a compensatory mitigation project
  • Technical guides on site protection instruments, long-term management plans, and long–term financing mechanisms

View the Wetland and Stream Mitigation: A Handbook for Land Trusts on the ELI website.

The Environmental Law Institute has also developed a webpage in support of the handbook.  The site, available here, includes additional resources, many of which are referenced in the handbook.

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