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Ducks Unlimited


The Ducks Unlimited (DU) compensatory mitigation program was started in the 1990’s with the goal of helping to ensure no-net-loss of wetlands, and delivery of high value conservation projects. 

Land development often leads to unavoidable impacts to marshes, streams, and lakes, which are legally protected under federal and state law. In these situations, permitting laws require developers to mitigate or restore wetlands with more acreage than was impacted. The DU mitigation program offsets wetland impacts and helps developers adhere to permitting laws through the sale of credits that protect, restore or create new wetlands. 

Market-based conservation approaches have allowed DU to accelerate the pace and scale of its conservation mission. DU has focused on producing mitigation for client’s permit needs while also achieving conservation objectives in New York, Vermont, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, California and now Michigan. This program has resulted in the protection and restoration of more than 4,400 acres of wetlands through mitigation banking and in-lieu fee projects.  

This program aims to contribute to watershed level conservation goals through the creation of mitigation banks. Banking allows small wetland impacts from multiple projects to be offset at larger, more ecologically sustainable sites under permanent protection. This landscape-level approach increases ecological value by creating more diverse habitat, improved ecosystem services and decreasing the fragmentation of wetlands. Additionally, banks provide an economic incentive by reducing permit processing time, reducing project timelines and providing cost savings through economies of scale.  

“DU has secured more than 34 banking projects throughout the U.S., and we are eager to expand our banking work in Michigan,” said Lucas Elenitsky, DU Regional Biologist in Michigan. 

Michigan is an ecologically unique state with 33 distinct wetland communities. These wetlands provide a wide variety of essential functions and services that improve water quality, reduce flooding, filter pollutants and provide habitat for wildlife. DU’s projects have conserved nearly 75,000 acres of wetlands and waterfowl habitat in Michigan. The addition of the mitigation program in Michigan will bolster existing conservation efforts, protect and restore critical wetlands and provide an avenue for developers to meet wetland permitting needs. 

For more information on DU’s mitigation program in Michigan contact Lucas Elenitsky at or (331) 425-9364.