VANCOUVER, Wash. – On Tuesday, July 14, the Port of Vancouver USA approved the purchase of environmental mitigation credits from the Wapato Valley Mitigation and Conservation Bank (Wapato Bank) in anticipation of several upcoming projects. The Port of Vancouver USA is the first port within the Wapato Bank service area to create an agreement like this to secure credits that will be released upon Bank certification for future port development.

Wapato fish habitat

The Wapato Valley Mitigation and Conservation Bank is a nearly 900-acre property in Ridgefield at the confluence of the Lewis and Columbia Rivers. The property is a former farm owned by the Morgan family and includes a unique tidal freshwater floodplain ecosystem.

Restoration efforts of Wapato Bank include “unbuilding” which involves removing man-made infrastructure and restoring the property’s natural ecosystem, which will increase the growth of natural habitat, improve the quality of the environment and encourage the growth of diverse and complex species.

Wapato farm fields that will be restored to fish, wetland and oak habitat

The Wapato Bank offers several types of credits through the Washington mitigation banking system, including wetland, in-water or fish habitat and oak habitat credits. Mitigation banking is a system of exchange with credits and debits that help ensure that business development impacts by public and private entities are offset by efforts of restoration, enhancement or preservation of a project with similar ecological features.

The Wapato Bank will offer credits as mitigation from off-site development impacts. In addition to avoiding and minimizing impacts during project design, the Port of Vancouver USA will purchase credits and use debits to help balance the environmental impacts of their projects through this system of mitigation banking.

“The funding from these credit sales will support the restoration construction and perpetual maintenance of the biodiverse floodplain habitats found at Wapato Valley,” said Kelley Jorgensen, President of Conservation with the Wapato Valley Mitigation and Conservation Bank. “We are grateful to the Port of Vancouver for its commitment to and support of our conservation efforts.”

For more information about the Wapato Valley Mitigation and Conservation Bank, visit

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The Port of Vancouver USA is one of the major ports on the Pacific Coast, and its competitive strengths include available land, versatile cargo handling capabilities, vast transportation networks, a skilled labor force and an exceptional level of service to its customers and community. For more information, please visit us at