Virtually unknown guardians of the cities surrounding them; hidden homes for many species of fish, plants, and animals; as well as a unique recreational area to locals and a helpful attraction for tourism—the wetlands have an immeasurable and unrecognized value to our society. Wetland mitigation began a popular movement in the late 80s with a no net loss goal; however, the agencies in charge are far from close to this goal.—Sadly, the wetlands are disappearing at an overwhelming rate; according to Esty, the US is losing about 60,000 acres of wetland annually (Esty).
Although efforts behind wetland mitigation are meant to be positive, the enforcement of wetland mitigation is failing to show positive results. With so many wetlands disappearing there has to be a flaw in the mitigation system. Considering mitigation is supposed to prevent development on wetlands, why is it still happening regularly? One main reason is how easy the mitigation process has become for developers.
When an individual wishes to disrupt the ecosystem of a wetland area, it begins a chain of events referred to as wetland mitigation. This process begins after a site is chosen for development that is considered protected by section 404 of the United States Clean Water Act. Before construction can begin, a qualified group, referred to as a permittee, is assigned the duty of determining a way to avoid filling or dredging the wetland area. If there is no other solution then the permittee begins discussions of compensatory mitigation. The developer may choose to build a new wetland area, maintain an existing wetland, or restore a former wetland to lessen the effects his project has on the environment. . Generally developers will choose a third party ...
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"Economic Benefits of Wetlands." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 12 Jan. 2009. Web. 09 May 2012
Esty, Amos. "Banking On Mitigation." American Scientist 95.2 (2007): 122-123. Academic Search Elite. Web. 6 May 2012
Hampton, Steve. Personal Interview. 1 May 2012
Mittal, Anu K. "Wetlands Protection: Corps Of Engineers Does Not Have An Effective Oversight Approach To Ensure That Compensatory Mitigation Is Occurring: GAO-05-89." GAO Reports (2005): 1.MasterFILE Premier. Web. 6 May 2012.
Pittman, Craig. "Banking On A LOSS." Planning 73.11 (2007): 4. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 9 May 2012
THE ASSOCIATED, PRESS. "Builders Can 'Bank' Efforts To Restore Wetlands." New York Times Apr. 2008: 17.Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 9 May 2012.
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