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Today's regulatory climate does not permit significant loss of wetland or riparian habitat from construction activities without compensation.  When wetlands or riparian zones are destroyed, construction approvals often require the creation, restoration or enhancement of new wetland and riparian zone habitat in a nearby area as compensation.  



Wetland and riparian zone mitigation projects designed and implemented by DuBois and Associates typically involve the following phases.  First, a site must be selected.  Several sites are often evaluated to identify a site with the highest potential for success.  Preliminary plans are developed, which include consideration of the species composition of nearby undisturbed wetlands.  Construction is initiated after approval of preliminary plans by regulatory agencies.  On-site supervision by experienced personnel is essential since cut depths to the seasonal high water table may have to be re-established or re-evaluated during construction.  The establishment of an appropriate elevation is crucial to wetland mitigation.  Stockpiled topsoil must be carefully re-spread to a depth that ensures seasonal wetness.  The growing medium is fertilized, seeded with an appropriate erosion control mixture, and planted with appropriate native wetland species.  Upon project completion, the survival rate of the project is monitored for a period specified by the supervising regulatory agency.

Monitoring methods are designed primarily to detect changes in vegetation over time, often at selected sites and based on the re-measurement of sample units.  In the past several years, permanent sampling locations were established within multiple wetland and riparian compensatory mitigation sites in order to illustrate the relative success of the mitigation projects and annual changes in vegetative cover over time.  Annual monitoring reports contain summaries of the monitoring data including woody plant species, height and densities; herbaceous cover species and percentages; invasive plant presence; and descriptions of any management issues.  Annual monitoring of mitigation sites has led to demonstration of success criteria goals and mitigation approval for numerous projects. 
The staff at DuBois Environmental Consultants are proficient in the field work and permitting required for wetland and riparian zone mitigation activities.
Scientists at DuBois and Associates have prepared conceptual and construction plans for wetland and riparian zone mitigation projects and have constructed and supervised these projects in the field.  Mitigation projects designed by staff at DuBois Environmental Consultants have been successful in converting uplands to wetland habitats, restoring wetlands and riparian zones, and in securing final agency approval and project signoff.

DuBois and Associates recognizes the importance of following through and maintaining a professional, but cooperative relationship with the review authority throughout the entire public participation and final approval phases.  This orientation has proven highly successful in achieving the desired results as quickly as possible in the most cost-effective manner. 

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