Mitigation banking is a practice in which an environmental enhancement and preservation project is conducted by a public agency or private entity (“banker”) to provide mitigation for unavoidable wetland impacts within a defined region (mitigation service area). The bank is the site itself, and the currency sold by the banker to the impact permittee is a credit, which represents the wetland ecological value equivalent to the complete restoration of one acre. The number of potential credits permitted for the bank and the credit debits required for impact permits are determined by the permitting agencies. UMAM is the method of assessment for banks established after February 2, 2004.
Chapter 373.4135, Florida Statutes, states: “Mitigation banks and offsite regional mitigation should emphasize the restoration and enhancement of degraded ecosystems and the preservation of uplands and wetlands as intact ecosystems rather than alteration of landscapes to create wetlands. This is best accomplished through restoration of ecological communities that were historically present.”
The Mitigation Bank Statute, 373.4136, and Mitigation Bank Rule, 62-342, provide the framework for permitting banks. Mitigation banks are authorized by a state permit, issued by either a water management district or the department, and by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a Mitigation Bank Instrument (MBI). The Corps maintains a website for federally approved or under-review wetland mitigation banks called “RIBITS.” The map below represents state-issued mitigation banks. Additional information on rules and procedures related to mitigation banking can be found in our Mitigation Banking Rule and Procedure Synopsis.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.