A wetland is an area where water covers the soil or is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods of time. Wetlands serve important functions in the local ecosystem such as: protecting and improving water quality, providing fish, plant, and wildlife habitats, and flood control. In the case of the bridge project in Creek County District 3, it is bottomland adjacent to the Deep Fork River.
This project will displace 2.9 acres of Hardwood-Forested Wetland, which is one of the hardest wetlands to replace because some of the trees take 50 years to grow to maturity. A temporal study is done (an analysis to asses the environmental impact over a period of time). Once this study is completed, a course of action is determined and agreed upon by the Corp of Engineers and the applicant.
The course of action in this instance is that 21.63 credits are needed from the Mitigation Bank ( a program whereby the loss of wetlands is compensated by establishing wetlands in another area so there is no net loss to the environment). This amount of credits roughly translates into 21.63 acres of wetland that must be developed to offset the loss of the 2.9 acres of wetland being dislocated.