The social impacts of wetland mitigation policies in the United States

Todd Bendor, Nicholas Brozovic, George Varkki Pallathucheril

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Concern over the threat to wetlands from urban development has increased with rising levels of suburbanization. This article provides an extensive overview of the literature on the history and structure of U.S. wetland conservation policy. The authors focus on regulations that permit wetland destruction in return for mitigation of wetland damage and highlight concerns that current wetland mitigation policies may lead to the redistribution of wetland benefits among specific population groups. Researchers and planners have yet to construct systems that enable them to answer a very basic question : Does wetland mitigation contribute to social disparity and inequity? The authors outline a data collection framework for use in determining if and how social disparities may occur during mitigation. They also discuss the use of spatial and temporal preference measures as a tool for addressing these considerations. Finally, they discuss how recent Supreme Court limitations on federal jurisdiction over wetlands may alter the roles and responsibilities of planners, arguing that these new roles may provide the opportunity for planners to fully incorporate social considerations into mitigation decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-357
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Planning Literature
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Ecological systems
  • Environmental planning
  • Land use change
  • Spatial discounting
  • Storm water ordinance
  • Wetland mitigation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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