Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Mitigation banking has been used as a means of facilitating the permit process by removing the negotiation of appropriate mitigation for development from the confines of the permit process. A developer with frequent needs to mitigate for losses associated with Section 404 and Section 10 requirements may, using a mitigation bank, consolidate mitigation and in so doing, potentially reduce mitigation costs. As a result of route maintenance, as well as expansion requirements, ports were considered to be good candidates for sponsoring mitigation bank efforts. Port use of mitigation banking has not been as expected due to a lack of available mitigation sites, regulatory restrictions, and high costs. This thesis supports the hypothesis that the number of mitigation banks has grown significantly since 1988, when the last inventory of mitigation banks in the U.S. had been conducted. This growth can be attributed largely to the increase in the number of department of transportation-sponsored banks. Bank sponsors contacted generally expressed positive attitudes toward mitigation banking and the number of banks is expected to grow. It remains to be seen whether mitigation banking has provided and environmentally successful alternative to the current practice of negotiating mitigation within the permit process. Little research has been conducted on the general benefits and problems that have been experienced in mitigation banking.