Ecosystem Investment Partners (EIP) was in the business of wetland banking, a strategy for mitigating the impacts of future development in certain wetlands by protecting others. They were particularly interested in a property along the tidal portion of the Delaware River in Bucks County, PA that included a former toxic waste site. As part of a master plan for economic development of the property, they hoped to earn revenue by selling credits for restoration of this wetland to potential buyers, such as the Philadelphia International Airport Authority, to offset the impacts of expanding runways into the lower Delaware tidal wetlands. Sale of credits would both protect the tidal wetland in Bucks County and offset fill and development elsewhere. Conservation Economics was engaged by EIP to participate in the master planning process.
Conservation Economics brought an innovative approach to EIP’s planning for this site by:
EIP wanted to generate revenue from a 420-acre property that included a tidal wetland along the Delaware River, residential, commercial, and industrial buildings, a woodland park, and a hazardous waste Superfund site resulting from previous chemical industry activities. They needed an innovative plan for economic development of this site and its infrastructures, subject to the restrictions on the Superfund portion.
CE identified a solution that would enable development to take place in an environmentally responsible manner. A key part of the solution involved wetland banking – an innovative market approach in which credits from tidal wetland restoration could be purchased to offset the debit from environmental damage elsewhere. An example is the expansion of runways at the Philadelphia International Airport.
In addition, CE was instrumental in:
Through CE’s expertise and guidance, the master plan for the property featured a wetland banking strategy that included management of the wetlands by the Heritage Land Conservancy, and protection of the Croyden Woods recreation area and trails.DOWNLOAD THE CASE STUDY