Stream & Wetland Mitigation Program

Stream & Wetland Compensatory Mitigation

If a proposed development project has explored all practical alternatives for avoiding and minimizing impacts, and project impacts exceed applicable permit thresholds, then mitigation will be required. The mitigation plan must be implemented and/or constructed before any permanent building or structure on site is occupied. In the case of a public road project, the mitigation plan must be implemented before the road is opened to the public. Proof of payment into a mitigation bank or in-lieu fee program or completion of an approved permit-specifc mitigation project must be provided to DWR to satisfy this requirement. Options for compensatory mitigation include: 

  • Mitigation banks: Applicant satisfies the mitigation requirement by purchasing mitigation credits from an approved mitigation bank
  • In-lieu fee mitigation: Applicant satisfies the mitigation requirement by purchasing mitigation credits through the N.C. Division of Mitigation Services.
  • Project-specific mitigation: Applicant satisfies the mitigation requirement themselves, either at the project site or at an off-site location. 

In accordance with 15A NCAC 02H .0506(h) and 15A NCAC 02H .1305(g), the DWR requires compensatory mitigation for losses of streams and wetlands (404 jurisdictional wetlands as well as isolated and other non-404 jurisdictional wetlands) as follows:

  • For linear public transportation projects, mitigation shall be required for impacts equal to or exceeding 300 linear feet per perennial stream or one acre of wetlands.
  • For all other projects, mitigation shall be required for impacts equal to or exceeding 300 linear feet of perennial streams or impacts equal to or exceeding one acre of wetlands.

For impacts to federally jurisdictional waters requiring compensatory mitigation, information on mitigation options can be viewed at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mitigation Web Site.

Templates & Guidance 

Compensatory Stream and Wetland Mitigation in North Carolina: An evaluation of regulatory success

Proposed Regulatory Guidance for the Calculation of Stream and Buffer Mitigation Credit for Buffer Widths Different From Standard Minimum Widths
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Use of mitigation located in the Little Tennessee to compensate for permitted impacts in the Little Tennessee

Expanded service area for mitigating impacts within the Lower Catawba River Basin

Revised Credit Release Schedule for Forested Wetlands

Find a Surface Water Classification Map  (Use this map to click on a stream line to find the surface water classification assigned to that stream segment.)

Find Your HUC  [Use this map to find the Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) assigned to a particular area.  This map includes 8-digit (subbasins), 10-digit (watersheds), and 12-digit (subwatersheds) HUC levels.]

Private Bank & In-Lieu Fee Mitigation Availability

  • The Corps of Engineers provides a national system for mitigation information. To access the Regional Internet Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS) to determine availability of stream and wetland credits and mitigation options, click here.
  • The NC Division of Mitigation Services provides assistance in meeting federal and state requirements for off-site compensatory wetland and stream mitigation. For information on the In-Lieu Fee mitigation programs offered by DMS, click here.