Published Nov. 10, 2015
Expiration date: 12/10/2015

The district engineer has received a prospectus to establish a wetland compensatory mitigation bank for federal and state permits as described below:


Chesbay Conservation LLC
726 Hunts Road
Port Haywood, Virginia 23138

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The proposed mitigation bank site is comprised of approximately 96 acres of land situated south of John Clayton Memorial Highway (Route 14), west of Fickle Fen Road, and east of Honey Pod Lane in Mathews County, Virginia. The proposed bank site drains to tidal headwaters of the East River.

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The bank sponsor proposes to establish, design, construct, and operate a compensatory wetland mitigation bank to be known as the Chesapeake Bay Wetland Mitigation Bank. The purpose of the mitigation bank is to provide off-site compensatory mitigation for projects that result in unavoidable impacts to wetlands within Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) 02080101, 02080102, 02080108 and 02080109. This proposed service area would include portions of the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, and Virginia Beach, and the counties of Accomack, Essex, Gloucester, King and Queen, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northampton, Northumberland, Richmond, and York.

The bank sponsor plans to establish this bank in three separate phases, with the first phase consisting of approximately 25.75 acres of existing agricultural fields.  Restoration within the agricultural fields and enhancement of approximately one acre of existing emergent wetlands will be accomplished through minor grading, blocking existing ditches to restore/improve wetland hydrology, and planting with native vegetation. The principle goal for the proposed bank is to assist in improving water quality and to create wildlife and aquatic habitat within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Oversight of this mitigation bank will be by a group of federal and state agency representatives. This interagency oversight group will be known as the Interagency Review Team (IRT). The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, shall chair the IRT.

This mitigation bank may be one of a number of practicable options available to applicants to compensate for unavoidable wetland impacts associated with permits issued under the authority of Section 404 and 401 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) in southern Virginia.

The actual approval of the use of this mitigation bank for a specific project is the decision of the Corps pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and by the Department of Environmental Quality pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia. The Corps and the Department of Environmental Quality provide no guarantee that any particular individual or general permit will be granted authorization to use this mitigation bank to compensate for unavoidable wetland impacts associated with a proposed permit, even though compensatory mitigation may be available. Authorization by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission may also be required for its use for specific projects.

AUTHORITY: Issuance of a public notice regarding proposed mitigation banks is required pursuant to the “Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources; Final Rule,” (Rule) as published in the April 10, 2008, Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 70, Pages 19594-19705 (33 CFR Parts 325 and 332).

FEDERAL EVALUATION OF PROPOSAL: The US Army Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from the public; federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Indian tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate this proposed mitigation bank. This is not an application for work in Waters of the United States. The US Army Corps of Engineers in evaluating this proposal will consider any comments received. Comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, flood plain values, land use classification, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, and consideration of property ownership.

Preliminary review indicates that: (l) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) the proposed work will not affect species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (PL 93-205); and (3) the project may not have an effect on properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Additional information might change any of these preliminary findings.

COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, US Army Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-WRR-N Keith Goodwin), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1096, and should be received by the close of business on Dec. 10, 2015.  Copies will be forwarded to the DEQ.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact Keith Goodwin at (757) 201-7327 or via email at