State and federal laws prohibit the loss of wetlands due to development. A wetland bank is a pre-existing wetland restoration project. The Long Beach Wetland Mitigation Bank would offer credits – subject to regulatory approval – to developers required to offset wetland losses that cannot be avoided.
The availability of wetland credits, however, doesn’t eliminate state and federal regulations requiring developers to avoid and minimize wetland damage.
If approved by Ecology, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Pacific County, credits generated by the Long Beach Wetland Mitigation Bank could be purchased to offset wetland losses for development projects on the peninsula that do not drain or have an outlet to either Willapa Bay or the Pacific Ocean.
The proposed bank would be located east of Ocean Beach Highway (State Route 103), at the end of 148th place north of Long Beach. It would augment other wetland protection and conservation efforts on the Long Beach Peninsula. In 2010, Ecology received a $1 million federal grant and worked with the Columbia Land Trust to acquire and protect an additional 125 acres of coastal wetlands, forest and streamside habitat to the Island and Loomis Lakes conservation area on the peninsula.
The approval of the Long Beach Wetland Mitigation Bank, located south of this conservation project, will further protect this critical wetland system by extending conservation efforts south of Loomis Lake.
Comments on the proposed wetland mitigation bank can be emailed or sent to Ecology by 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, to:Kate Thompson Shorelands & Environmental Assistance Program Washington Department of Ecology P.O. Box 47600 Olympia, Wash. 98504-7600 [email protected]