Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Urban Studies & Planning

First Advisor

Dr. Margot Garcia


The United States Corps of Engineers is a federal agency responsible for regulating impacts to wetlands. Permit applications requesting authorization to impact wetlands are reviewed using a three step sequence: avoidance, minimization and compensatory mitigation. A national goal of no net loss of wetland acreage and function in compensatory mitigation has been recommended since 1987.Thirty Norfolk District projects requiring compensatory wetland mitigation in the permit years 1996-1998 were randomly selected for field review. The results showed that 10% of the project were never initiated or completed. Another 19% of the projects showed a net loss of acreage. However, many projects exceeded their required mitigation acreage. The mitigation types included creation/restoration (18 permits), commercial mitigation bank (3 permits), and an in-lieu fee trust fund (9 permits). Overall 1.76 acres were mitigated for every acre of wetland impacted. Creation/restoration projects had the highest ratio (2 acres mitigated for every acre impacted and the mitigation bank realized 1.82 acres for every acre impacted. Therefore, this study indicated that the Norfolk District is gaining more than 1 acre of wetland mitigation for every acre impacted, thus meeting the goal of no net loss of wetland acreage.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008