The primary purpose of the In-lieu Fee Program is to accept monies generated as an in-lieu - fee funding requirement for authorized activities, as well as monies generated by enforcement and compliance actions initiated by the Army Corps of Engineers. These compliance fees serve as a funding source for wetland and/or riparian restoration, creation, enhancement, and preservation of wetlands and other aquatic resources. The primary objective of the restoration projects developed under this Program are to replace functions and values of aquatic resources and associated habitats that have been degraded or destroyed as a result of activities conducted in compliance with or in violation of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1972 and/or Section l0 of the River and Harbor Act of 1899.
The Research Branch, working with our colleagues in the Habitat Program, develops wetland restoration proposals which are approved by the Department’s Regional staff. These proposals are eventually submitted and approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The proposals must fit at a minimum the following basic criteria: 1) the propertymust stay a wetland in perpetuity, 2) the Department must have access to these lands for basic monitoring, operation and maintenance, and 3) the restoration dollars need to be tied directly to wetland enhancement on an acre by acre valuation system based on vegetation type. In addition, our monitoring and adaptive management approach towards all restoration projects allow us to develop the necessary techniques that lead to the most efficient restoration procedures.
Tree planting effort around pond
We are currently implementing 4 wetland restoration projects within thestate, these include:1) 65 acre mesquite bosque and emergent wetland project on the Powers Butte Wildlife Management Area, along the Gila River; 2) 215 acre emergent wetland and riparian gallery forest project on the Chevelon Wildlife Area near Winslow, AZ; 3) 40 acre cienega restoration project near the confluence of Empire Gulch and Cienega Creek on the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area (LCNCA), and; 4) 2 acre spring/wetland restoration project near the confluence of Spring Water Canyon and Cienega Creek on the LCNCA. Our goal is to develop and implement wetlandrestoration projects within all of the State’s watersheds
Volunteers planting sedges for emergent
This Program allows the Department to participate in watershed restoration to improve fish and wildlife habitat throughout the State. We restore degraded wetland and riparian vegetation communities (e.g., areas dominated by the exotic salt cedar (Tamarix ramosissima) plant) of low to poor fish and wildlife value into highly valued native cottonwood, mesquite, and emergent wetland community types.
Recently planted emergent wetland.