Fish Conservation Credits for ESA-designated and proposed species
Wapato Valley Mitigation and Conservation Bank’s habitat restoration actions will provide restored access to hundreds of acres of crucial, high-quality rearing and refuge habitats for multiple stocks of federally ESA-listed salmon and steelhead and other native fish in the Columbia River basin. The Bank is currently in the certification process to provide mitigation for projects permitted or approved by the National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. Fish Conservation Credits in the form of DSAYs (Discounted Service Acre Years) will be available to offset project impacts to ESA-designated and proposed species, Essential Fish Habitats, non-listed and resident fish, and stream, floodplain, freshwater tidal and freshwater estuarine habitat.
Large-scale floodplain restoration
The Wapato Valley Bank provides important floodplain habitats that support regional biodiversity, including multiple life-history strategies and life stages of salmon, steelhead, and other native fishes. During the design phase, functional habitat types were developed that are elevation-based and represent those areas where the restoration design could modify conditions to significantly reduce biological risk. Habitat restoration components for native fish are focused on restoration of floodplain processes such as levee removal, reconnection and restoration of off-channel and side-channel habitats, riparian restoration, floodplain reconnection, and in-stream habitat enhancements. All actions are designed to increase rearing and forage access and opportunity for juvenile salmonids.