Ecosystem Investment Partners (EIP), was founded in 2006 to provide a private funding option for important conservation properties, and to demonstrate that good conservation investment can deliver market returns to serious investors. EIP delivers competit
Expert Lineup: (Lead) David Urban, Director of Operations, Ecosystem Investment Partners, Towson, Md.; Krystel Bell, Mitigation Banking Coordinator, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento, Calif.; and Travis Hemmen, Vice President, Westervelt Ecological Services, Sacramento, Calif.
Wetland Mitigation in Urban / Suburban settings can be challenging.
Dave Urban photoDavid Urban, PE, Director of Operations, has over 25 years experience in wetland and stream restoration.
David is a nationally recognized expert in mitigation banking and is the past President of the National Mitigation Banking Association.David has been directly responsible for the design, permitting, construction, management, and/or monitoring of over 38 mitigation banks in 10 different districts of the US Army Corps of Engineers since 1995.
David has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University, a MS in Environmental Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and was commissioned in the US Navy for 5 years.
Download bio >
David Urban, Director of Operations of Ecosystem Investment Partners, provided a big picture view of the current state of mitigation banking.He first noted the history and growth of mitigation banking - which started with early banks in the 1990s, grew to around 500 prior to the 2008 Rule and has since grown to around 900 banks.
He noted that there was a lot of press about the failure of wetland mitigation in general.
The 2008 Rule was a result of the 2002 National Academy of Sciences study that laid out what should be included in a mitigation plan.
Mr. Urban noted that a standard against which mitigation banks are measured is regulatory requirements - and the track record is favorable with only 1% of banks suspended.
A brief foray into analyzing RIBITS database unearthed both internal and external errors in data availability and analysis - highlighting the need for continued transparency of data.
The other piece of the story, Mr. Urban noted, related to 'ORMS' wetlands permits data.
From 2011 data, only about 50% of the watersheds in US had a permit issued for an impact to wetlands.
He noted that this could be because of problems of enforcement.
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.