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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)

Page 127

John A. Prokes
Northern Environmental Management, Inc.
102 W. Washington
Suite 213, Harlow Block
Marquette, Michigan 49855
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.
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,

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