A GeoEngineers advance wetland mitigation project at bp Cherry Point Refinery was recently recognized with a Distinguished Project Award for Innovation & Achievement in Sustainability award from the Northwest Construction Consumer Council (NWCCC). GeoEngineers’ team provided bp with wetland science, design, regulatory/permitting support, and is providing ongoing monitoring for this large advance wetland mitigation site near bp’s facility in Bellingham, Washington.
The aptly named Advance Mitigation Project 4 (AMP 4) is part of bp’s ongoing efforts to build hundreds of acres of sustainable wetlands on its property near Bellingham, Washington. Advance wetland mitigation projects allow companies like bp to generate credits for future impacts to wetlands and buffers. To qualify for credits, projects must demonstrate improvement above baseline conditions through post-construction monitoring. Use of credits is governed by the appropriate regulatory agency, including the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology), and Whatcom County.
GeoEngineers began working on advance mitigation projects for bp in 2014, and has primarily provided conceptual mitigation design, grading design, wetland science, permitting support, and monitoring services in the years since. Preliminary work on the award-winning AMP 4 project began in 2019, and planting wrapped up in May of this year. The project successfully rehabilitated approximately 43 acres of wetlands, enhanced 38 acres of upland terrain, created or restored 10 acres of new wetlands, and added 5 acres of seasonal ponds and more than 82,000 native plants—making it one of the largest advance wetland mitigation projects in Washington.
Wetland ecosystems support a rich variety of plant and animal life, and AMP 4 includes long-term wildlife monitoring to measure the impact of these new habitats on biodiversity. Groundwater monitoring is also a major aspect of GeoEngineers’ work on these bp projects, and right now our team is managing and monitoring approximately 200 groundwater wells across multiple sites.
“Large advance mitigation projects can last for 12 to 13 years from conceptual design to final closure after 10 years of post-construction monitoring,” says GeoEngineers Project Manager Fiona McNair. “During the design, construction, and extended period of post-construction monitoring, we all have the privilege of getting to observe and monitor how a site is transformed from a farm field to an established wetland/upland habitat complex.”