Southern California Wetland Recovery Project (SCWRP)
The SCWRP is a partnership of public agencies that work to acquire, restore, and enhance coastal wetland and watersheds between Point Conception and the U.S.-Mexico border. Federal partners are the Corps, EPA, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. State partners are California's Resources Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, Coastal Commission, Department of Fish and Game, State Coastal Conservancy, State Lands Commission, State Water Resources Control Board, and four Regional Water Quality Control Boards (San Diego, Santa Ana, Los Angeles, and Central Coast). Each of these agencies sends top officials to the SCWRP Governing Board. Advisers to the board come from the Wetland Managers Group, the Public Advisory Committee, and the Science Advisory Panel. Five counties (San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara) help to identify critical wetland resources and promote education about wetlands and funding of projects. Nine projects totaling over $25 million have already been funded. For 2000 to 2001, the SCWRP has identified 31 projects totaling over $30 million (www.coastalconservancy.ca.gov/scwrp).
present, in many emerging fee payment programs the selection of projects for funding is made based on a consensus of professional interagency judgment on watershed needs (Scodari and Shabman 2000). Two institutional reforms could be made to increase the technical quality of these regulator judgments.
The North Carolina Wetland Restoration Program
The North Carolina Wetland Restoration Program was created to simplify meeting wetland compensation requirements and to achieve a net gain of wetlands in that state's watersheds. The state is responsible for developing watershed plans to identify areas where restoration actions would be of high priority and of greatest ecological value. Wetland restoration plans for 17 watersheds and their subwatersheds are now finished or are nearing completion. Restoration activities are now under way in a number of watersheds.
To initiate the planning and wetland restoration program, the state provided $6 million to the North Carolina Wetland Restoration Fund, with additional funds to be provided in future years. In addition, the North Carolina Department of Transportation pays $2.5 million each year for a period of 7 years for plan development.
With the fund now in operation, a wetland permit recipient can satisfy compensatory mitigation requirements by paying a fee to the fund. The collected fees are used to repay the wetlands restoration fund (WRF) for wetland restorations that were implemented with the initial state allocation (see Appendix B).