What We Do
We develop commercial, compensatory mitigation banks across most of the United States. These banks provide traditional 404 stream and wetland credits, as well as serving other credit markets such as riparian buffer and nutrients.
Pay for Performance
Pay for Performance is a way for us to provide ecological services to public and private clients with a performance-based pay structure. These projects can be traditional mitigation credits through a full-delivery model.
At WLS, we recognize client’s needs are unique and projects are not always suited to a one size fits all classification. Our tailored solutions provide flexible and creative project services customized to meet your exclusive needs.
Mitigation Bank Locations
Since the 2008 inception of the Mitigation Rule, mitigation banking has become the preferred method of the United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for restoring our nation’s natural resources and providing compensation for impacts. We are thrilled to be one of the fastest growing mitigation bank producers in the United States.
We develop compensatory mitigation banks throughout the United States to meet the needs of our nation’s consumers by restoring watersheds where impacts have occurred. Our banks provide compensatory mitigation offsets in the form of mitigation bank credits (or ecological units of resource uplift). These are generally for those impacts associated with Section 404, 401, and 402 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Section 7 and 10 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). When a permittee purchases mitigation bank credits, they get a streamlined and cost-effective mechanism to meet the requirements established by the CWA and project-specific local and state-wide authorities.
Mitigation banks are tracts of land where WLS has rehabilitated, re-established, enhanced, or preserved streams, wetlands, uplands, and species habitat. Our mitigation banks receive all pertinent permits, and are approved and overseen by regulatory agencies including EPA and USACE. Once regulatory approval is received, the credits are approved and issued to us in stages as we meet performance standards and success criteria. These released credits are “banked” and then available for purchase by permittees.
Pay for Performance
Pay for Performance is a full delivery model that we use to provide compensatory mitigation to clients at a negotiated and fixed price payment structure. This model is used in various United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) districts throughout the United States. (There are several different terms for the same concept, like performance-based projects and pay for success.)
Under this approach, we provide the capital to fund mitigation projects. We get paid only as the project achieves pre-negotiated and contractual milestones. With Pay for Performance, you’ll never have additional project costs, outside of the agreed upon fixed price. Neither will you pay for projects that do not meet the contractual need. Not only will WLS provide financing, but we will also handle every aspect of your project from land acquisition, design and permitting, construction, and monitoring and maintenance to posting financial assurances and long-term site protection and stewardship.
If you have large-scale mitigation needs in regions without approved mitigation banks or areas where credit availability from a mitigation bank(s) is insufficient to cover required compensatory mitigation needs, then Pay for Performance is the ideal approach. This model has become one of the most common approaches to mitigation for large impactors because mitigation liability is shifted to a company like WLS that specializes in the implementation of mitigation projects.
We recognize that our clients’ needs are unique, and projects are not always suited to a one-size-fits-all classification. We represent one of the most diverse and experienced companies in the development of unique and specialized mitigation approaches tailored to our client’s needs. Our team is comprised of the top experts in project implementation, plus we have one of the strongest financial balance sheets in the industry.
Our tailored solutions provide flexible and creative project services customized to meet your specific needs. Our team of restoration experts will collaborate and guide you through the complex regulatory, restoration and real estate arenas to ensure project success while providing cost-effective services. The project possibilities with tailored solutions are endless. Our tailored solutions are perfect for any project that does not fit the mold of a traditional mitigation bank or pay for performance project.
WLS has responded to, and been selected for, multiple private bank contracts with NCDOT across the state through a competitive bid process. They have delivered stream and wetland bank credits that will be used for compensatory mitigation for NCDOT roadway projects over the next several years.
Knowing WLS understands the ever-evolving regulations and the technical site conditions makes a huge difference in our interest level of working with the team at WLS. As new relationships need fostering in land owners, developers, homeowner associations and local municipalities, it’s even more important to us that who we partner with can meander the mine fields of the process delicately and diligently.
Unique Places to Save is a conservation non-profit that works with mitigation company partners, landowners and regulators to hold perpetual conservation easements over stream, wetland and species mitigation projects. We have worked with WLS on numerous mitigation banks in North Carolina. We enjoy working with WLS due to their superior level of professionalism and high standards of quality work on all their projects. WLS not only understands the science and economics of mitigation work, but also understands the needs and concerns of landowners, partners and local communities when conducting their mitigation practice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What differentiates WLS from others in the mitigation space?
We focus on empowering people - from our clients to our staff. Building relationships that stand the test of time (after all, a project lasts a long time!) is critical to us. Our in-house technical experts and our project flexibility and creativity are two additional factors that we're proud of.
We've been told by many that our diversity of mitigation alternatives, ability to create cost-effective options, and technical in-house expertise provide solutions that no other providers can offer. In addition, because of our solid network of relationship over time, our ability to work through diverse scenarios and create solutions separates us from others.
Who are your typical customers?
We work with a diversity of private and public sector customers across a wide spectrum of industries. There is no one-box-fits-all when it comes to customers. In fact, the diversity of our customers is part of what has helped us become so creative with our solutions. Our understanding of the permit and impact side of the equation allows us to help multiple sectors navigate the complex regulatory and mitigation arenas.
Does WLS have regional limitations when it comes to developing mitigation banks, or providing Pay for Performance or tailored solutions?
The short answer is no. We have developed or are developing multiple projects throughout the United States and our regional footprint continues to expand. Our team has the technical wherewithal and experience to develop and implement ecological restoration projects throughout the country.