shed. The committee made nine specific recommendations to achieve these goals.

General Goals
  • Individual compensatory mitigation sites should be designed and constructed to maximize the likelihood that they will make an ongoing ecological contribution to the watershed; this contribution should be specified in advance.

  • Compensatory mitigation should be in place concurrent with, and preferably before, permitted activity.

  • To ensure the replacement of lost wetland functions, there should be effective legal and financial assurances for long-term site sustainability and monitoring of all compensatory wetland projects.

Specific Recommendations
  • Impact sites should be evaluated using the same functional assessment tools as used for the mitigation site.

  • Mitigation projects should be planned with and measured by a broader set of wetland functions than are currently employed.

  • Mitigation goals must be clear, and those goals carefully specified in terms of measurable performance standards, in order to improve mitigation effectiveness. Performance standards in permits should reflect mitigation goals and be written in such a way that ecological viability can be measured and the impacted functions replaced.

  • Because a particular floristic assemblage might not provide all the functions lost, both restoration of community structure (e.g., plant cover and composition) and restoration of wetland functions should be considered in setting goals and assessing outcomes. Relationships between structure and function should be better known.

  • The Corps of Engineers and other responsible regulatory authorities should use a functional assessment protocol that recognizes the watershed perspective to establish permittee compensation requirements.

  • Dependence on subjective, best professional judgment in assessing wetland function should be replaced by science-based, rapid assessment procedures that incorporate at least the following characteristics: effectively assess goals of wetland mitigation projects; assess all recognized functions; incorporate effects of position in landscape; reliably indicate important wetland processes, or at least scientifically established structural surrogates of those processes; scale assessment results to results from reference sites; are sensitive to changes in performance over a dynamic range; are integrative over space and time; and generate parametric and dimensioned units, rather than nonparametric rank.

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