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The Joyce Foundation is funding an exploration of how conservation development projects could create tradable or bankable credits for nutrient reduction that would help implement a TMDL or other voluntary watershed goal in the Great Lakes Region. Conservation development practices generally preserve 50% or more of a site's open space and sensitive areas and include best management practices to minimize runoff and pollutant loading. The project team identified two pilot watersheds—the Kalamazoo River-Lake Allegan, and Saginaw Bay. In each case, the project team is working with watershed stakeholders to explore and integrate conservation development opportunities into the pre-existing watershed management structure. For the Kalamazoo pilot, stakeholders already have conducted a trading pilot study, face a TMDL for phosphorus, and are developing a plan to implement the TMDL. In the Saginaw watershed, the community has been conducting a variety of watershed protection and restoration projects under a voluntary framework, as no TMDL is imminent. Both pilots will utilize a variety of analytical and modeling tools to quantify expected reductions from various site development alternatives for selected projects and show how more environmentally compatible planning can achieve the reductions and offsets necessary to reach local goals. This work is being managed by Enterprising Environmental Solutions, a not-for-profit organization committed to exploring innovative approaches to environmental challenges, and conducted by staff from CH2M HILL and Kieser and Associates.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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