Possible Methods of Calculating Fish Habitat Banking Credits in Southern Ontario, Canada

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Heather Amirault, Nick Gollan

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In 2019 the Canadian federal Fisheries Act was amended to include a provision for proponent led development of fish habitat banks. A fish habitat bank is a conservation strategy used to earn the proponent habitat credits through the completion of restoration works. The credits are included in a banking ledger and can ultimately be withdrawn by the proponent to offset the unavoidable death of fish or the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat resulting from a proposed project by the same proponent. Credits may only be used within the same service area where the credits were earned. Prior to the 2019 amendment, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) had supported the development of a small number of fish habitat banks lead by municipalities. Since 2019, additional banking negotiations have been taking place. This presentation will discuss the various types of fish habitat banking stream restoration projects that the City of Kitchener has completed and how the credits are being calculated. The City of Kitchener’s potential maximum earned credit calculations are generally based on the area of restored habitat, the quality of restored habitat, and the effect of the restoration project on access to upstream habitat. The credits are not automatically granted upon completion of the restoration project but are contingent on project success. Credits are released based on an agreed upon schedule based on achieving specific project metrics, determined through post-construction monitoring. This presentation aims to invite discussion on how we assign value to environmental function.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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