EAST AUSTIN CREEK CONSERVATION BANK
A conservation bank / mitigation project for listed species, riparian, and wetland habitat impacts.
East Austin Creek Conservation Bank is an approved National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) conservation bank in Sonoma County. It is located in a core priority area for the protection and restoration of endangered coho salmon and where there is the highest likelihood for the species' recovery.
The bank land is protected in perpetuity by a conservation easement held by the Wildlife Heritage Foundation. The success of the restoration and oversight of the property is guaranteed by a legally binding agreement between the property owner and NMFS.
The habitat restoration is funded by the bank, not tax dollars. An endowment is funded by the bank for long-term monitoring and management.
In addition to providing NMFS conservation bank credits, the East Austin Creek Conservation Bank may be used, upon agency approval, as a mitigation project site when determined appropriate by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to fulfill mitigation requirements for project impacts. The bank can also provide mitigation to fulfill the requirements of a Coastal Permit upon approval by the appropriate agency.
The bank has sold mitigation to the California Department of Transportation and Sonoma County.
For a basic explanation of conservation and mitigation banking, please see:
COHO SALMON RELEASE VIDEO
A release of endangered coho salmon at the East Austin Creek Conservation Bank: