Oatka Creek Approved As Ducks Unlimited’s 10th In-Lieu Fee Mitigation Project

More than 2,200 acres conserved through the New York and Vermont ILF Programs

MIDDLEBURY, N.Y. – Jan. 31, 2023 – Ducks Unlimited’s (DU) 10th In-Lieu Fee (ILF) wetland mitigation project in the Northeastern U.S. has received approval from the Army Corps of Engineers to restore wetlands along Oatka Creek in the Lower Genesee River Watershed of Western New York.

Work on the site will begin this fall, providing approximately 18.82 wetland mitigation credits in the Lower Genesee Watershed through increases in water storage and floodplain enhancement. This program supplies land developers with an economical means of satisfying wetland permit requirements, while contributing to DU’s mission of wetlands and waterfowl conservation.

“This is a historic moment for our mitigation program at Ducks Unlimited,” said DU Director of Conservation Services Dr. Patrick Raney. “We have become a trusted partner of the Corps of Engineers in delivering wetland mitigation because DU has consistently delivered high-integrity wetland restoration projects that offset development pressures while contributing to regional conservation goals.”

Mitigation banking and ILF allow permitted wetland impacts from development and infrastructure projects to be offset by purchasing restored wetland acres at larger sites that are perpetually protected. When developments such as road maintenance, energy transmission and airport expansions encroach on wetlands, regulations often require offsets to increase wetland acreage at another site.

ILF programs develop habitat offsets at larger, more diverse wetlands, making these wetland credits available for developers to purchase. This mitigation approach allows DU to protect and restore important wetland habitats to advance its conservation mission while providing an economical service. In the absence of mitigation credit offsets, development projects typically must find expensive, custom mitigation solutions to satisfy permit requirements. Such projects are often small, have more prevalent invasive species concerns and are prone to failure due to their small size.

'In the Northeast, DU has protected over 2,200 acres since 2015 through this program. Nationwide, that number has increased to more than 4,400 acres across 34 mitigation projects. DU has protected an average of 130 acres per project, permanently protecting important landscapes, like wet grasslands in the Prairie Pothole Region, floodplains, and marshes in the Northeast.

“At Ducks Unlimited, we understand there must be a balance between development, maintenance of critical infrastructure, working lands, and conserving habitat,” Raney said. “Wetland mitigation is a critical tool that prevents the indiscriminate loss of wetlands. The requirements for mitigation do a lot to prevent wetland impacts in the first place.”

Visit www.ducks.org/mitigation to learn more about all of DU’s mitigation programs around the country. Click here to visit the New York program and click here to visit the Vermont program.

For more information, visit www.ducks.org, and be sure to Follow DU’s Twitter feed – @DucksUnlimited and @DUConserve – to get the most up-to-date news from Ducks Unlimited.

About Ducks Unlimited Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow, and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.

Media Contact:

Joe Genzel

(309) 453-0979