Ecosystem Investment Partners (EIP) is pleased to announce its acquisition of 3,510 acres of restorable wetlands in northeastern Minnesota that will comprise the Mississippi and Superior Wetland Mitigation Bank. The two properties EIP has acquired were formerly used as wild rice farms and now represent some of the largest, contiguous restorable wetland mitigation sites remaining in northeastern Minnesota. EIP’s goals for the properties are to restore and protect the critical wetland resources by establishing the Mississippi and Superior Wetland Mitigation Bank to provide high quality offsets for unavoidable wetland impacts permitted under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and other applicable environmental laws.
To establish the Mississippi and Superior Wetland Mitigation Bank, EIP will restore, rehabilitate and permanently protect over 1,970 acres of former wetlands that are currently ditched, drained and unprotected from development. As established by the St. Paul District of the Army Corps of Engineers’ mitigation credit system, it is estimated that this restoration and ecological uplift will generate a total of 1,700 mitigation credits which EIP will sell to third parties seeking compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Under a separate State approval by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), the Bank’s mitigation credits can also be used as high quality offsets for BWSR related liability. The Bank’s service area currently includes the Upper Mississippi watershed (BSA 5) of northeastern Minnesota and EIP expects to have credits available in 2013. Finally, EIP is working to expand the Mississippi and Superior Wetland Mitigation Bank to include additional restorable acreage in the Lake Superior watershed (BSA 1).