What is the Southeast Alaska Mitigation Fund?
An In-Lieu-Fee Program with a mission to support the aquatic resources and economies of Southeast Alaska’s communities.
Currently there are two In-Lieu-Fee programs that service Southeast Alaska: The Southeast Alaska Land Trust and the Great Alaska Land Trust. Both of these third party mitigation programs offer only preservation opportunities to Section 404 permit applicants.
There are no active and approved third party mitigation programs (mitigation banks and/or In-Lieu-Fee Programs) that carry out restoration, enhancement and/or creation to offset unavoidable permitted impacts to aquatic resources in Southeast Alaska.
The primary goal of the Southeast Alaska Mitigation Fund will be to maintain and improve the quantity and quality of aquatic resources throughout Southeast Alaska
To meet this goal, SAWC plans to incorporate the following objectives into the SAMF:
- Provide habitat restoration or enhancement as an option to mitigate for unavoidable, site-specific impacts to aquatic resources in SE Alaska
- Utilize a watershed approach to identify the most appropriate off-site mitigation options available.
- Work in an efficient and transparent manner with an Inter-Agency Review Team, chaired by the Army Corps of Engineers, to review, analyze, and implement mitigation projects and enact amendments to the Program Instrument.
- Utilize scale efficiencies by combining the impacts from individual smaller projects within each identified watershed into consolidated (larger) mitigation sites with greater ecological value.
- Develop a program that identifies, prioritizes, and completes mitigation projects that collectively produce a no net resource loss on a watershed scale over time.
- Provide an effective and transparent accounting structure for collecting in-lieu fees, disbursing project funds, and compliance reporting.
- Provide public benefit by applying mitigation resources, deemed appropriate by the IRT, toward the restoration/enhancement of ecologically impaired publicly owned and those privately owned lands, which have important ecological value to the watershed.