Wetland Mitigation

Wetland Banking

CDOT uses several commercial wetland banks throughout Colorado. A current list of wetland mitigation banks and their status can be found on the Regulatory In-lieu Fee and Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS) developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Click on the link for RIBITS, then click on "Advanced" or "Continue to this website", and choose the link for RIBITS again, if necessary - the Army website is safe.

The following is a list of commercial wetland mitigation banks currently available for use on federal-aid transportation projects:

  • Animas River Wetlands

    Primary service area = Animas River watershed
    • Tier 1 (primary service area)
      • HUC 14080104, state boundary to 8,500'
      • HUC 14080101 western branch (Los Piños River) from State Line to 8,500'
    • Tier 2 (secondary service area)
      • HUC 14080107 (Mancos River) to 8,500'
      • HUC 14080102 (Piedra River) to 8,500'
    • Tier 3 (tertiary service area)
      • HUC 14080101 eastern branch (Upper San Juan) from State Line to 8,500'

  • Maria Lake Mitigation Bank

    Primary service area = All of Prowers, Bent, Otero, Crowley, and Kiowa counties and parts of Huerfano, Pueblo, Fremont, El Paso, Elbert, Lincoln, Cheyenne, and Las Animas counties.

  •  Big Thompson Confluence Mitigation Bank
    General Service Area = Portions of the Middle South Platte-Cherry Creek HUC 10190003 and the Big Thompson HUC 10190006, as well as portions of adjoining 8-digit HUCs within the USACE Omaha District Regulatory Boundary. At the discretion of the US Army Corps of Engineers, credits may be approved outside of the primary geographic service area.

  • Front Range Mitigation Bank

    General Service Area = Middle South Platte-Sterling (HUC 10190012), the Middle South Platte-Cherry Creek (HUC 10190003), Lower South Platte (HUC 10190012), Lower Lodgepole (HUC 10190016), Pawnee (HUC 10190014), Sidney Draw (10190017), Beaver (HUC 10190013), Crow (HUC 10190009), and Bijou (HUC 10190011).

  • Box Elder Creek Mitigation Bank

    General Service Area - The bank holds both wetland and stream credits.

CDOT Region and Wetland Mitigation Bank Map

Limon Wetland Mitigation Bank

The CDOT Limon Wetland Mitigation Bank was constructed during 1996 and 1997 as a joint effort among CDOT, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Highway Administration, the Town of Limon, and other federal and state agencies. The 14-acre property, owned and maintained by the Town of Limon, is approximately 90 miles east of Denver. Credits at the bank are for CDOT use only, and the service area is primarily intended to be southeastern Colorado in the Lower Arkansas River drainage basin and within EPA ecoregion 26-1, Southwestern Tablelands-Grasslands. 

Watershed Approach

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a federal rule in April 2008 to increase the effectiveness of compensatory mitigation and call for setting mitigation decisions in the watershed context (40 CFR Part 230 - Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources; 2008 Final Rule). While requiring a watershed-scale view of mitigation, the new rule did not provide guidance on how a watershed approach should be implemented.

Beginning in 2009, the EPA Region 8 lead a pilot project in the State of Colorado to demonstrate the use of the watershed approach when making wetland mitigation decisions. Staff from EPA, USACE, CDOT, the Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP), and Colorado State University (CSU) prepared an assessment framework syllabus as a way to judge mitigation opportunities. The syllabus includes a list of seven review factors to be considered when an opportunity is considered.   

In 2013 the CNHP and CSU completed a process that allows the watershed approach to be successfully and consistently implemented across the state. The project team demonstrates how the watershed approach can be used to inform aquatic mitigation responsibilities under the Clean Water Act section 404 program. The complete process can be found here - Setting Mitigation in the Watershed Context.