On September 15 at 4 p.m. in the Library Gallery, as part of the GES seminar series, Rebecca Lave from the University of Indiana will give a talk titled “Marketing Environmental Science and Management: Stream Mitigation Banking in the U.S.”
Market-based approaches to environmental management are increasingly common. Conservation and water quality credits are for sale in many developed countries, and the idea of payment for ecosystem services is ubiquitous in international environmental policy circles. This talk traces that shift from command and control to market-based management and its ecological and policy consequences through analysis of the emerging practice of stream mitigation banking in the U.S. In the most common form of stream mitigation banking (SMB), a for-profit company buys land with a damaged stream on it and restores it to produce mitigation credits which can then be purchased by developers to fulfill their permit conditions under the Clean Water Act. Entrepreneurial SMB began in 2000, and has since spread rapidly across the U.S. with the strong support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Employing a Critical Physical Geography approach, this talk will present social science data fro m document analysis and interviews, and natural science data from geomorphic fieldwork conducted from 2010 through 2013. Lave will argue that while mitigation bankers have made several key interventions in the development of SMB policy, market forces have not dominated the policy-making process to the extent one might expect. Even so, their influence is clearly visible in the homogenization of channel form across the U.S.
There will be a light reception following the talk.