St. Paul, Minn.— The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is seeking to develop or acquire wetland credits for the Local Government Road Wetland Replacement Program. Opportunities are available for landowners, local governments and other partners interested in restoring wetlands to generate wetland credits and for current wetland bank account holders interested in selling deposited credits.
Wetlands that are filled or drained must be replaced under state and federal wetland law. Several BWSR programs work to restore wetlands, some of which are then designated as wetland mitigation credits. These credits are deposited into the state wetland bank, which can be used by local road authorities to obtain state and federal wetland permits for qualifying road improvement projects.
“Minnesota’s wetlands play an essential role in keeping water clean, storing water to mitigate flood damage, and providing habitat to a diversity of wildlife,” BWSR Executive Director John Jaschke said. “The Local Government Road Wetland Replacement Program is a tool that allows local road authorities to complete needed infrastructure projects while ensuring wetlands are restored to offset the loss of these high-quality natural resources.”
In 2020, the program received $23 million dollars from the state legislature to replace the unavoidable loss of wetlands that result from local road improvement projects. This week, BWSR opened a request for proposals and a voluntary easement sign-up period in targeted areas of the state. Request for proposal options include partnering with BWSR to generate wetland credits or entering into an agreement to sell previously deposited credits or credits soon to be deposited in the state wetland bank.
How to apply: Application materials and additional information about the request for proposals and the easement sign-up are available on BWSR’s website. Applications for any of the participation options are due at 2:30 pm on April 7, 2021. Specific questions can be directed to your local soil and water conservation district, or BWSR program staff listed on the LGRWRP program website.