MCS brokers wetland, stream, and species credits.
“Environmental impacts often require mitigation, and credits are the easiest way to provide it.”
Land development projects often have unavoidable impacts to plants, animals, wetlands and streams protected by federal, state and local regulations. Impacts must be mitigated, which often requires compensation. Compensatory mitigation – an umbrella term that covers conservation and mitigation credits – protects habitat in perpetuity, and assures that ecosystems and biodiversity are preserved today and for generations to come.
The two types of credits represent different protections: conservation credits preserve land and the plants and animals that call it home; mitigation credits are for waters like wetlands and streams, and usually require environmental uplift. Uplift is essentially an upgrade to ecosystem services by restoring existing waters or establishing new ones, achieved through professional habitat design and construction.
Through a process of entitlements and regulatory agency coordination, a mitigation or conservation bank with a predetermined number of credits results, and it is protected forever through a conservation easement. A credit is a standard unit that represents a quantity of compensatory mitigation, and is either equal to 1 acre of land/habitat or a “functional equivalent” of 1 acre (taking into account quality along with quantity).