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Stream mitigation banking

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Compensatory mitigation (also known as offsetting) is the practice of allowing harm to one ecosystem as long as a comparable ecosystem elsewhere is restored. This common practice is intended to balance the competing demands of economic development and environmental protection. Here, I explore compensatory mitigation through a focus on one particular type: stream mitigation banking in the United States under the Clean Water Act, a market‐based form of environmental management. I explain the motivations for compensating for rather than preventing environmental damage more broadly, the practice of stream mitigation banking, and what we know about its environmental and social impacts. I conclude by calling out the stakes in offsetting more generally, and in stream mitigation banking in particular, arguing that neither market‐based environmental management nor offsetting more generally may be serving us well.

This article is categorized under:

  • Engineering Water > Planning Water
  • Human Water > Value of Water
  • Water and Life > Conservation, Management, and Awareness

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Engineering Water > Planning Water
Water and Life > Conservation, Management, and Awareness
Human Water > Value of Water

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