Who Is Affected by Wetland Mitigation Banking? A Social and Geographic Evaluation of Wetland Mitigation Banking in Benton, Lane, Linn and Polk Counties, Oregon
Brass, Tim, 1984-
Over the past 25 years wetland mitigation banking has emerged as an increasingly popular market-based regulatory system designed to offset wetland losses through the use of pre-constructed, government-approved wetland mitigation banks. While research highlighting the biophysical effectiveness of this approach is prevalent, little is known about the spatial and social characteristics of mitigation sites when compared to sites of permitted wetland loss. This study used wetland mitigation banking records from four Oregon counties to determine the extent to which wetland displacement has occurred, if social characteristics differ between sites of wetland loss and bank sites and if the density of wetlands near permits differs from banks. Results suggest that banks have been located an average of 11 miles from the removal-fill site. Additionally, when compared to removal-fill sites, populations living near banks were wealthier, less densely populated and less ethnically diverse.