The city of Ocean Shores is getting into the Mitigation Banking business the Department of Ecology is accepting public comment on certification of the Weatherwax Wetland and Habitat Mitigation Bank.
The city has been working on forming a mitigation bank on the 120 acres of wetlands since 2011, certification would finalize the process and permanently preserve the property. With projected revenues of over a million dollars, the Department of Ecology projects to award almost 12 credits for mitigation on the property.

Mitigation banking is fairly new in Washington state, the way it works is when a construction company cannot avoid building on wetlands they need to mitigate the damage. In the past the construction company itself would make repairs on other wetlands in that service area, like when creosote pilings are pulled from our local rivers. Mitigation Banking allows a land owner to make repairs first, then bank those credits to be sold to construction companies. This bank would be able to sell credits for construction along the coast from Copalis Beach – North of Ocean Shores, to Heather – South of Grayland.

The Service Area for the Bank correlates to the northern and central extent of the general soil type (4) Yaquina-Netarts-Duneland mapped within the coastal plains from Copalis to Tokeland. The Service Area includes projects within Yaquina-Netarts-Duneland with impacts to freshwater depressional or lacustrine fringe wetlands that either have no outlet or that drain to Grays Harbor (Bay), north Willapa Bay or the Pacific Ocean (Figure E-1, Service Area). Sites not included in the service area are estuarine wetlands. The Bank may be used to compensate for an impact that occurs within the Service Area if specifically approved by the regulatory agency(ies) that have jurisdiction over that impact, pursuant to the procedures and criteria prescribed in Appendix E.

A Public Notice for the certification of the Weatherwax Wetland and Habitat Mitigation Bank was issued on April 2, 2015, and will expire on May 2, 2015.

Ocean Shores Mitigation Bank Instrument
Weatherwax mapThe Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) is considering the certification of the Weatherwax Wetland and Habitat Mitigation Bank (bank) in the City of Ocean Shores, Grays Harbor County. Specifically, the City of Ocean Shores proposes to preserve and enhance approximately 120-acres of wetland and associated upland habitat to create the bank.

 

The bank proposes to establish wetland mitigation credit that will be available for use to applicants with authorized, unavoidable aquatic ecosystem impacts to wetlands associated with activities authorized by the Corps, Ecology, and other regulatory entities.  The presence of a wetland bank does not change existing regulatory requirements to avoid, minimize, rectify and finally, compensate for wetland impacts.

 

If you would like to download this Public Notice, please visit Ecology’s Wetland Mitigation Banking public notice web page:

http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/wetlands/mitigation/banking/public-notices.html.

 

If you have any specific questions about the Ocean Shores Mitigation Bank, contact Kate Thompson at 360-407-6749 or [email protected].

 

For general wetland mitigation banking information, go to Ecology’s Wetland Mitigation Banking homepage: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/wetlands/mitigation/banking/index.html.