Credit Marketing Strategies
Heritage works with our Mitigation Bank clientele to effectively market their credits. There are three types of specific wetland mitigation (restoration) credits that are typically generated at a mitigation bank and include the following:
• Rehabilitation (1 and 2)
• Enhancement (1 and 2)
Rehabilitation credits have the highest monetary value per acre. Enhancement credits have the next highest monetary value and Preservation Credits have the lowest value. Land used for establishing these credits as part of the Mitigation Bank Approval process include:
• Agriculture –Prior Converted Farmland
• Cattle Pasture – Drained and In-Use
• Degraded Forest Land
• Fastlands (coastal zone)
The market demand and supply for wetland mitigation credits is essentially regulated by both state and federal agencies. Section 404 of The Clean Water Act (CWA) regulates the discharge of “fill” in jurisdictional wetlands, and the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) limits activities within “coastal wetlands”.
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is the federal agency responsible for protecting jurisdictional wetlands. The USACE regulates impacts to “waters of the US” including wetlands through Section 404 of the CWA. Specifically, the USACE issues Section 404 permits for the discharge of “fill” into more than 1/10th of an acre of jurisdictional wetlands.
The market area (service area) for any individual mitigation bank is typically its immediate watershed. The US Geological Survey (USGS) has established defined watersheds throughout the United States which are referenced as “Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC)”.
The number of active Section 404 Permits within a HUC represents the demand for wetland credits. While real-estate development and transportation projects represent a component of this demand, other needs for wetland credits are driven by oil/gas related activities and coastal restoration/levee projects.
Heritage maintains a unique relationship with both the USACE and the CMD staff, and interfaces directly with all regulatory staff including those that issue permits. In this way, Heritage can identify the current market as well as forecast future market conditions.
As part of our Marketing Services we provide a market analysis to determine overall Market drivers, competition, and other factors in both the current and projected operating environments. Once a quarter, Heritage meets with its clients to review the status of current Land Use Projects, current risks and mitigation strategies as well as review of a Strategic Portfolio Report.