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Chris Cavendish Adam Clutter Charles Gala Eric Juve Kevin Kollar Simon McClung Shawn O’Malley.

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Presentation on theme: "Chris Cavendish Adam Clutter Charles Gala Eric Juve Kevin Kollar Simon McClung Shawn O’Malley."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chris Cavendish Adam Clutter Charles Gala Eric Juve Kevin Kollar Simon McClung Shawn O’Malley

2 “Wetlands have a poor public image… Yet they are among the earth’s greatest natural assets… mankind’s waterlogged wealth” -Edward Maltby 2

3 What is a Wetland? Jurisdictional Wetland Hydrology Hydrophytic Vegetation Hydric Soil 3

4 Wetland Types 4 Different Types Marshes Swamps Bogs Fens 4

5 Importance of Wetlands Shallow waters provide for 40% of all ecological processes Water Purification Flood Water Retention Biodiversity Animal Habitat 5

6 Authority for the Government to Regulate Mitigation Clean Water Act Regulates the disposal of waste into navigable waters Permits may be purchased from the government for the use of disposal sites Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 Regulates the placement of structures, dikes, and filling of navigable waterways 6

7 Mitigation Banking Added as an amendment to Clear Water Act Compensation for the waste disposal Banking policy used with every permit issued. Four parts: Service Area Bank Site Bank Instrument Interagency Review Team 7

8 Improvements on the Wetland Restoration Bringing the wetland back to its former glory Creation Building artificial wetlands where wetlands have been destroyed Enhancement Improving the wetlands from what it originally was 8

9 Mitigation Credits Issued to permit holders based on the ability of the holder to perform the improvements Already determined is what needs to be done for the wetlands, just needs to be implemented by the permit holders Responsibility to the tasks falls on the IRT. 9

10 Clean Water Act Players U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Military Organization – Investigate, Develop, and Maintain Nation’s Water and Related Environmental Resources Environmental Protection Agency – Federal Government Agency – Protecting Environment and Human Health – Write and Enforce Regulations based on Law passed by Congress 10

11 EPA and Corps (CWA) Issue Revised Regulations for Section 404 of Clean Water Act 1995: Federal Guidance on the Establishment, Use, and Operation of Mitigation Banks Provided guidelines to seek approval for operation of mitigation banks By 2001, 23 states had regulations authorizing use of mitigation banks 11

12 EPA and Corps (CWA) cont. – 2002: Wetlands Mitigation Action Plan Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, and Transportation Further implemented the no net loss of wetlands goal – 2008: Final Compensatory Mitigation Rule Incorporated Wetlands Mitigation Action Plan Improved: – effectiveness of compensatory mitigation to replace lost aquatic resource functions and area – expand public participation in compensatory mitigation decision making – increase the efficiency and predictability of the mitigation project review process 12

13 EPA and Corps (CWA) cont. Regulations implemented require permits for the filling and dredging of wetlands. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approve and deny permits for compensatory mitigation on a case-by-case basis EPA has the power to veto the Corps’ permit decisions 13

14 State Wetland Programs Observe: Section 404 of Clean Water Act State laws regarding Wetland Mitigation Involved: Either Department of Natural Resources or Department of Environmental Quality Regional EPA/USACE organizations 14

15 North Carolina 1996: Wetlands Restoration Program – Part of the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources – Focused on innovating wetland permits – Placed mitigation within the same river basin as the related impact – Organizations felt program wasn’t reaching full potential 2003: North Carolina Ecosystem Enhancement Program – Continue and improve upon the Wetlands Restoration Program – Formed by: North Carolina Department of Transportation North Carolina Department of Natural Resources U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Wilmington District – Key difference: NCEEP mitigated before the impacts occurred 15

16 Ohio Past 200 years, wetlands have declined from 5 million acres to less than 500,000 acre 1999: Partnership formed – Ohio Environmental Protection Agency – Ohio Department of Natural Resources Restored more wetland than any other state organization – Preserve, restore, and create wetlands within the region – In accordance with Ohio Water Quality Standards and Section 404 of Clean Water Act 1992: Ohio Wetlands Foundation – Private non-profit corporation – Created and restored 2,400 acres of wetlands – Created the first wetlands mitigation bank in U.S. Achieved the required performance standards Completed the required monitoring 16

17 Development of Policies 17

18 Development of Policies (cont.) 18

19 Development of Policies (cont.) 1 st wetland policy was The Swamp Land Act Allowed draining of wetlands for productive use Approximately half of 200 million acres of wetland were destroyed 19

20 Development of Policies (cont.) Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899 Some wetlands were considered waterways Only policy to protect wetlands till 1977 20

21 Development of Policies (cont.) Knowledge and appreciations for wetlands grew and the Clean Water Act of 1977 was enacted Section 404 specifically protected wetlands Wetlands Restoration and Improvement Act introduced in 1997 Implemented mitigation banking Continuous improvements on regulating wetland conservation 21

22 Development and Policies (cont.) Local Governments develop policies that coincide with federal policy Ohio originally had the Modified Index of Well Being. Only generically protected surface waters that included some wetlands Adopted Wetland Water Quality Standards 22

23 Non-Governmental Actors Participate in various roles in wetland mitigation These actors have varying degrees of influence but each is important in it’s own way 23

24 Policy Writing After a policy draft is written, it is made available to the public for comment before it’s implementation. Each comment must then receive a response either defending the policy or offering change. 24

25 Who comments? Main contributor: Environmental consulting and engineering groups E.g. – Herrera Environmental Consultants Secondary: Activism groups and individuals 25

26 Wetland Mitigation Projects Obvious NGAs in this area are those who find themselves required to perform wetland mitigation. Knowledge, personnel, and equipment issues 26

27 Wetland Mitigation Projects Environmental consulting firms or knowledgeable and capable individuals are hired to actually implement a restoration project – Dr. Jeffrey Kavanaugh – LJB Inc. - Kettering 27

28 Wetland Education This is the least recognized, yet perhaps most important function of NGAs. Protests Impassioned citizens Educators 28

29 Problems with the Authority of the Government Clean Water Act Many wetlands are not considered navigable and are therefore not covered. Does not eliminate any pollution only holds it static. Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 Does not cover all wetlands because not all are navigable. 29

30 Mitigation Banking Most effective manner of restoration and conservation. Should allow for growth of wetlands but has not been proven to do so. 1.8 acres of new wetlands per acre destroyed. 30

31 Problems with Mitigation Banking Interagency Review Team Does not necessarily apply to all wetlands because in some cases it is an amendment. Clean Water Act 31

32 Overall Effectiveness of Policy Not as effective as originally hoped. Contributes to watershed health as well. The two thought to be linked. 32

33 Wetlands Benefits -Support growth of aquatic plant life and have a high diversity of species -Prevent floods -Filter water -Prevent soil erosion to surrounding areas 33

34 When policies were first implemented, annual acres of disappearing wetlands decreased to 290,000 from 480,000 This decrease in wetland loss, as stated by the EPA in its Wetlands Overview, was because of "increased public awareness of the functions and value of wetlands and the need to protect them, the implementation and enforcement of wetland protective measures, elimination of incentives to drain wetlands, private land initiatives, coastal monitoring and protection programs, and wetland restoration and creation actions” Effects of Current Policy 34

35 In serious need of reconsideration In the 1990s, there was still a wetlands loss even though the compensatory mitigation plan asked for 1.8 acres of new wetlands for every 1 acre destroyed Compensatory mitigation process is poorly planned because new wetlands are created in areas where they cannot flourish (difficult to recreate nature) Policy Recommendations 35

36 New wetlands should be created before destroying old ones Monitor all compensatory mitigation plans Restore current wetlands instead of creating new ones Simply constructing new wetlands Policy Recommendations cont’d 36

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