On October 1-2, 2001, a Mitigation Stakeholders Forum was held at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Maryland Department of the Environment, and the National Aquarium in Baltimore sponsored the event. The forum brought together a diverse group of individuals from federal and state government, non-profit environmental organizations, third party mitigation providers, and others (e.g., academia, home builders, representatives of the oil and gas industry, non-governmental organizations, etc.). The 2-day meeting was designed to provide an opportunity for the participants to discuss issues associated with improving the implementation of ecologically effective wetlands mitigation under the Clean Water Act Section 404 program.
A particular focus of the forum was the series of recommendations issued in recent reports by the National Academy of Sciences and the General Accounting Office on compensatory mitigation. Forum participants reviewed these 31 recommendations and added their recommendations for consideration. The group then identified 15 recommendations, five in each of three categories - technical, policy, and programmatic - that were the focus of the majority of the remaining discussions.
This report is designed as a representative record of the issues discussed at the Mitigation Forum. It can serve as a resource and for those interested in improving compensatory wetland mitigation under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. It can also serve as a foundation for federal and state agencies and others to develop specific and concrete actions for improving mitigation success.
Many of the policy and technical documents discussed in this report can be accessed through the web site of EPA’s Wetlands Division at: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands.