Construction of the Oakwood Mitigation Bank
Michigan Wetland Board
The Local Agency Wetland Mitigation Program, more conveniently named Michigan Wetland Board (MiWB) was created by 2016, legislated through PA 246, as amended by 2018, PA 471 (MCL 247.661h, eff. 9/22/2016). The program is funded at $2 million per year off-the-top Michigan Transportation Funds (MTF), and capped at $8 million. The program supports Local Transportation Agencies’ (LTA) needs with required wetland mitigation.
How Funding is Utilized
The vast majority of Michigan’s 83 county road agencies and 530+ municipal road agencies cannot typically fund and manage required wetland mitigation sites. This can delay road projects that require wetland mitigation for unavoidable impacts due to lack of existing mitigation and/or the expertise to create viable mitigation sites.
MiWB resources may be used to preserve, restore or create wetlands. Funding is used to purchase, design, construct, manage and endow sites so that they are preserved and managed in perpetuity. Commercial mitigation sites cost $100,000 to $150,000 per acre credit. MiWB’s costs are typically half this amount. Through the Legislature’s establishment of MTF funding reimbursement via the MiWB, mitigation can occur with no net cost to the road agencies.
MiWB benefits to Michigan taxpayers, residents and visitors include:
- Faster delivery of road projects.
- Less costly road projects.
- Green space is maintained and improved.
- Additional public recreational opportunities.
- Less uncertainty in road project timelines.
- Improved relationships between environmental and transportation agencies.
- Improved public relations for LTA’s with respect to environmental stewardship in their communities.