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Lake Superior Mitigation Bank Gains Approval

EIP’s Lake Superior Mitigation Bank obtained final approval from the St. Paul District of the US Army Corps of Engineers and the other federal and state members of the Inter-Agency Review Team today.  According to EIP Director of Operations Dave Urban, both Leslie Day of the Corps and Ken Powell of the Minnesota Department of Water and Soil Resources are due particular recognition for their vision in undertaking the permitting of the largest and most complex restoration project ever undertaken in the region.  A hearty thank you also goes out to Deric Deuschle, Senior Biologist at Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc., who worked tirelessly with Dave to provide the scientific and technical evidence for the extent of the restoration opportunity on the enormous site.

This approval will initiate restoration of 23,461 acres of bogland in a region of Minnesota that contains extraordinary habitat for rare bird species.  The parcel that will be restored comprises practically all of the Stone Lake watershed in St. Louis County that had been drained, and has remained badly degraded, since 1913.

As with all modern mitigation banks, the monitoring and verification procedures in the document that provides the requirements for restoration of the site are very thorough.  This document, known as a Mitigation Banking Instrument, is publcly available on the online Regulatory In-lieu fee and Bank Tracking System, or ‘RIBITS’, and contains detailed information on the actions that must be taken in order to restore hydrology and vegetation to desired conditions, as well as adaptive management techniques and corrective measures to be used to ensure success.

Due to the large number and size of wetland impacts occurring in northeastern Minnesota, the lack of large scale mitigation banks and wetland credit supply has been a long standing situation that federal, state and local resource agencies have been working to address. EIP is pleased to play a significant role in addressing this need through its long-term investment in the region and expansion of the mitigation resources available to it.

For information on availability of mitigation credits from the Mississippi and Superior Mitigation Bank, please contact EIP Director of Markets Katherine Birnie at katherine@ecosystempartners.com