Depending on where you live, you might have wandered through scaffolding that supports new high-rises in a rapidly-developing city, or driven past brand new housing developments cropping up where wetlands used to thrive. You might have wondered about the environmental impacts of construction and the long-term impacts of newly paved surfaces replacing natural habitat. Fortunately, the EPA requires developers to consider these impacts prior to construction in order to avoid adverse impacts, minimize their impacts, and finally, provide compensatory mitigation for the unavoidable impacts to wetlands. But how do local and state governments organize systems and structures to manage these processes?
EPA is encouraging all states and tribes to create wetland program plans. These plans lay out the activities that each state or tribal program plans to undertake over the next few years in each of the four core elements of wetland programs: regulation, monitoring & assessment, restoration & protection, and water quality.
In a previous post, we discussed how those plans can incorporate elements of sustainable finance. The most comprehensive plans first identify the work of the state or tribal program and then describe a plan for seeking out appropriate funding (both from the state/tribe itself and from grants) and appropriate partners to complete that work.
Of course, identifying funding sources is not the same as securing those funds. How, then, can wetland program plans be written to increase the likelihood of securing state and tribal appropriated funds and grants?