Saw Mill Creek Mobile Workshop: NYC’s First Mitigation Bank
Friday, July 26, 2019
2 p.m. - 6 p.m. EDT
New York, NY, United States
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In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, wetland restoration plays an important role in New York City’s rebuilding and resiliency efforts, while balancing sustainable waterfront development.
The Saw Mill Creek Mitigation Bank Pilot aims at restoring and protecting 68 acres of severely degraded wetlands creating “mitigation credits” that developers can purchase to offset the expected adverse impacts of their future permitted projects.
Guided by the Clean Water Act, a wetland mitigation bank places a perpetual conservation easement on the land, with a trust fund specifically dedicated to long term management of natural resources inherent to the bank. By securing mitigation credits large landowners, including the government, are able to maintain a property retaining ecological functionality and ecosystem services.
28 states in USA have established over 1,000 mitigation banks since 1990, resulting in the restoration of over 960,000 acres of wetlands.
Saw Mill Creek Mitigation Bank
Saw Mill Creek Marsh is located in Staten Island’s North-West Shore, comprising of previously filled and degraded urban wetlands and upland buffers. During Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the creek suffered from severe flooding, which only worsened the degradation.
The land is city-owned and managed by the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, while NYC EDC manages the credit sales process. Revenues through the sale of credits are used to reimburse construction costs, perform monitoring, maintenance and long-term stewardship of the site. The ongoing restoration initiative, called M.A.R.S.H.E.S. (Mitigation and Restoration Strategies for Habitat and Ecological Sustainability) is designed to: remove urban fill, improve tidal hydrology exchange, reestablish native plant species, control invasive plant species, minimize contamination risks, and increase fish and wildlife habitat
Overall the project will improve water quality, flood attenuation, sediment quality, plant diversity, and increase wildlife species
Max Taffet, AICP
Aldo Treville, firstname.lastname@example.org