Georgia’s In-Lieu Fee Compensatory Mitigation Option

Background:

In cooperation with the Savannah District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Georgia Land Conservation Center manages an in-lieu fee program for the compensatory mitigation for losses of aquatic resources including wetlands and streams as required under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Known as the Georgia Wetlands and Streams Trust Fund, the program provides an option for mitigation when wetlands and/or stream credits are not available from eligible mitigation banks.

How the program works:

Applicants for Corps permits to impact wetlands and/or streams are usually issued permits with a condition that compensation be provided for unavoidable impacts. New regulations provide options for mitigation including the use of the Georgia Wetlands and Streams Trust Fund. Payments to the Trust Fund are returned in the form of permanent preservation of some of Georgia’s finest natural areas in the vicinity of the permitted impacts. Permanent preservation is provided by our partners, which include the U.S. Forest Service, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, local governments, The Nature Conservancy, The Conservation Fund, the Trust for Public Land and a number of regional non-profit land trusts.

Funding for wetlands and streams preservation:

Since the program’s inception in 1997, the Georgia Wetlands and Streams Trust Fund has provided over $9 million to our partners and we are currently holding an additional $3 million for projects under active consideration. Trust Fund monies are often used to leverage other funds including Congressional appropriations to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Georgia’s Land Conservation Program and private donations. A number of sites would not have been preserved without Trust Fund monies.

Application procedures for funding are currently under revision and will be posted shortly on this site. In the meantime contact us for more information. 

Preserving some of Georgia’s outstanding natural areas:

To date, the Trust Fund has provided helped permanently preserve 29 sites in Georgia’s mountains, Piedmont and Coastal Plain. These sites protect wetlands and streams and other important conservation values such as habitat for endangered species, connections and buffers to existing protected areas and greenways and blueways. Over 4,480 acres have been protected including 1,480 acres of wetlands and 31.2 miles of streams.

For Information

Contact Hans Neuhauser at the Georgia Land Conservation Center, 170 Security Circle, Suite 106, Athens, GA  30605; tel. 706-546-7507 or hans@galandcc.com