Capstone Title

A Review and Analysis of Entrepreneurial Wetland Mitigation Banking in Florida

Defense Date

1998

Document Type

Capstone

Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management

First Advisor

Stacy Myers

Second Advisor

Bart Baca

Third Advisor

Richard E. Dodge

Abstract

Entrepreneurial mitigation banking (EMB) offers mitigation credits to permit applicants and is a relatively new practice in Florida. In this paper, EMB in Florida is reviewed and analyzed, beginning with a description of current mitigation banks, followed by a description of the uncertainties, and ending with a discussion of possible solutions.

Current mitigation banks include single-user or multi-user, and they may be public or private. Primarily, they are grouped into three types: single-user banks, entrepreneurial banks, and publicly-owned banks. The most common forms in use today are single-user banks established by public agencies.

Although EMB has many ecological advantages compared to on-site mitigation, there are some uncertainties as well. Three different aspects of EMB uncertainties are described: 1) demand for mitigation credits, 2) supply of mitigation credits, and 3) competition with other banks.

Recommendations for solving these uncertainties deal with regulatory agencies and the mitigation process. Regulatory agencies should provide clearer guidance with greater consistency in the permitting process. They should also provide one-stop permitting processes at the federal and state levels and should focus more on monitoring and maintenance to create a steady demand for mitigation credits. To provide a steady supply of wetland credits, the requirement of up-front funds should be eased for entrepreneurial mitigation banks and monitoring requirements modified. Enhancement and restoration should be considered the best management practices. A comprehensive and objective functional assessment method should be used by regulatory agencies. The practice of providing mitigation credits by public agencies should be reconsidered in order to reduce competition between entrepreneurial mitigation banks and other types of commercial banks.

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