Stream and wetland restoration is becoming increasingly essential in the ongoing quest to balance anthropogenic development and the resulting impacts to the environment. The construction of roads and communities often negatively impacts wetlands, streams and other critical habitat for plants and animals, resulting in overall environmental degradation over time. Construction may also result in clear-cutting of the vegetation on stream banks, known as the riparian buffer, which serves as vital habitat, erosion prevention, and cooling shade to the stream. Freshwater aquatic habitats house a rich variety of plants, fish, amphibians, crustaceans, and insects as well as provide food and water to a diverse array of mammals, reptiles and birds. Streams are also an essential means of water and sediment transport beginning in mountains and eventually traveling to the sea. Mitigation banking can offset these adverse impacts through the preservation, enhancement, restoration or creation of similar habitat in neighboring ecosystems. The improvement of riverine or wetland habitat generates environmental credits from the improved ecosystem which can be applied to offset the loss of another similar, nearby ecosystem for economic purposes. For example, if a road needs to be constructed and will result in unavoidable impacts to a stream, another degraded stream could be restored to its natural, functioning state, resulting in “no net loss” of aquatic resources. This generates credits based on the amount and quality of habitat the bank site improves. In order to earn the full amount of credits, however, the site must be monitored over time, usually five to seven years, to ensure that the stream and the associated riparian buffer have achieved the desired functional lift. At Brushy Fork, we work diligently to ensure that our mitigation projects will continue to be stable and valuable well into the future.
Brushy Fork is always interested in meeting with landowners who have a property with a high linear footage of degraded streams or degraded wetland areas. We can provide information and clarification about the mitigation process to see if this is something that could be right for your property. Additionally, Brushy Fork works with landowners who have proposed projects which may impact a significant amount of streams or wetlands. We can work with you to minimize and avoid proposed impacts, or provide mitigation options for those projects on which impacts cannot be avoided.