Public infrastructure projects can be delayed or put on hold due to stringent Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) wetland mitigation requirements. Privately owned wetland mitigation bank credits are not available in some areas of the state, and mitigation construction on a per project basis can be complicated, expensive, and time consuming.
MDEQ permit applicants generally have three options to compensate for lost wetlands: (1) on-site mitigation, (2) off-site mitigation, and (3) mitigation banking. On-site mitigation is the restoration or creation of wetlands by the permit holder within the project limits of the impacted wetlands. Similarly, off-site mitigation is the restoration or creation of wetlands by the permit holder at another site within the same watershed or ecoregion. Mitigation banking, on the other hand, involves the purchase of credits to offset the permitted impact to wetlands from an established wetland mitigation bank within the same watershed or ecoregion. This third option is the preferred method of mitigation under federal and state statutes.
With grant funds from the MDEQ and assistance from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), the MMWA is establishing wetland mitigation bank sites across the state to help expedite municipal infrastructure projects. The MMWA will serve as the bank sponsor and the MDNR will build and maintain the wetland mitigation banks, which means that municipalities can rest assured that their wetland mitigation requirements have been properly fulfilled.
Credit Availability Maps
The MMWA will be establishing wetland mitigation bank sites to service local governments in the following watersheds and ecoregions:
Find out how the MMWA can help you
If you are a municipality planning a project with unavoidable wetland impacts, please contact the MMWA to determine if any MDEQ wetland mitigation bank credits are available in your watershed or ecoregion.
FAQs for Local Governments
How Can I Tell If the MMWA Has Any Wetland Mitigation Bank Credits Available in My Location?
Once you’ve determined the location, type, and number of acres of wetland mitigation required by the MDEQ for your particular project, please see our credit availability maps to determine whether we have credits available in your location.
Does It Matter What Type of Wetland Mitigation Bank Credit Is Available? How Can I Tell How Many and What Type of Credits I Need?
Wetland mitigation must be of a similar ecological type as the impacted wetland wherever feasible and practical, and the MDEQ has laid out ratios of acres of wetland mitigation that must be provided for each acre of permitted wetland loss. However, the MDEQ may increase the ratio if the replacement wetland is of a different ecological type than the impacted wetland. For more information, please visit the MDEQ’s website at www.michigan.gov/wetlands.
What If There Are No MMWA Wetland Mitigation Bank Credits Available in My Location?
The MMWA will continue to add more sites in the years to come, and demand will be a factor in determining future site locations. Therefore, it is important to contact us when you begin planning a project with unavoidable wetland impacts.
Can MMWA Wetland Mitigation Bank Credits Be Used for Any Wetland Mitigation Requirement in My MDEQ Permit?
Yes, as long as the MDEQ will accept wetland mitigation bank credits for your particular project. Your MDEQ permit will contain specific mitigation conditions. The MMWA is working with the MDNR to ensure that our banks comply with all of the stringent requirements set forth by the MDEQ.
Can I Purchase MMWA Wetland Mitigation Bank Credits Now, Even Though I Don’t Have a Permit Requiring Mitigation Yet?
Possibly. The MMWA Board will take requests for credits and make decisions on a case-by-case basis.
If I Purchase MMWA Wetland Mitigation Bank Credits and Don’t Use Them, Can I Resell Them to Someone Else?
No. Due to the limited number of credits available, any unused credits must be sold back to the MMWA and cannot be sold by you to third parties.
Our Municipality Owns Property That May Be Suitable for a Wetland Mitigation Bank. Is the MMWA Interested in Other Sites?
Yes. The MMWA is currently constructing on MDNR lands, but we are interested in opportunities to build wetland mitigation banks on other public land as well.
Are MMWA Wetland Mitigation Bank Credits Available to Landowners Seeking to Develop in My Municipality?
No, MMWA credits cannot be used for that purpose. If you have private landowners seeking to develop in your municipality, they may have the opportunity to purchase credits from a private wetland mitigation bank. Please see the MDEQ Registry for a list of all current mitigation banks at www.michigan.gov/wetlands. The MMWA does have limited programs for certain agricultural producers and blueberry growers. Please see our FAQs for Agricultural Producers and FAQs for Blueberry Growers for more information.