Webb, Frederick J., Jr. (ed.) / Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference on Wetlands Restoration and Creation : May 10-11, 1990
Prokes, John A.
Status and trends of wetland mitigation practices in southeastern Michigan: an agenda for the 1990's, pp. 127-143 PDF (6.5 MB)
STATUS AND TRENDS OF WETLAND MITIGATION PRACTICES IN SOUTHEASTERN MICHIGAN: AN AGENDA FOR THE 1990'S John A. Prokes Northern Environmental Management, Inc. 102 W. Washington Suite 213, Harlow Block Marquette, Michigan 49855 ABSTRACT The effectiveness and consistency of wetland mitigation practices in southeastern Michigan was evaluated by examining file data and permit information available from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' (MDNR) Southeastern Michigan District Office in Pontiac, Michigan (District 14). Permits from 1984 to 1989 were reviewed and agency personnel interviewed to examine the number of permits with mitigation requirements, types of mitigation permitted (creation, restoration, or enhancement), acreage and habitat type impacted vs. acreage and habitat type mitigated, net acreage gain or loss (mitigation ratio), and follow- up monitoring and/or management requirements. Site visits to ten completed wetland mitigation projects were conducted to qualitatively compare permit design with what was completed in the field. Although not all data have been evaluated, results thus far indicate that wetland mitigation practices within the MDNR's Southeastern Michigan District Office during the 1980's appear to be preventing "no net loss" of wetland habitat, at least as indicated by the permits reviewed. However, because follow-up monitoring requirements were either not required as part of the permit or are not enforced, many projects have not been completed or were not constructed as proposed in the permit and are, therefore, not preventing "no net loss." Preliminary field observations of wetland mitigation projects, especially from projects completed between 1985 and 1986, have generally exhibited poor construction design leading to results in the field which have differed significantly from those required in the permit. INTRODUCTION In recent years, much progress has been made with wetland assessment techniques and delineation methods, but evaluations on the success and failures of mitigation (i.e., creation, enhancement, restoration) projects in achieving no net loss have generally been limited. One of the primary reasons for this is that wetland permit files are usually inconsistently prepared and organized and cannot be effectively tracked and retrieved to allow for the enforcement of the permit conditions. Additionally, regulatory agencies rarely have the time, funding, or staff to sift through the myriad of wetland permit applications and follow-up on those with mitigation. Once a permit is issued, there is very little, if any, 127
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