Wetland Restoration/Compensation Guide (Alberta)

Alberta has a 2007 Provincial Wetland Restoration/Compensation Guide that provides guidance on the permit process, mitigation hierarchy, and compensation process under the 2000 Water Act. Although only developed in 2005 (and revised in 2007), the guide has been used in practice for longer. Compensation occurs through restoration of degraded wetlands.

This guide is underpinned by a 1993 provincial wetlands policy, "Wetland Management in the Settled Area - An Interim Policy." The interim policy, which has a 'no net loss' goal, only applies to settled areas ('White' zone) and not the ~60% of the province that is public lands. From about 2008 up to the present, the policy has been in the midst of updates, although it has not been finalized (as of March 2011). Although the majority of the stakeholders convened in a provincial Alberta Water Council supported maintaining the 'no net loss' policy goal, it appears that pressure by two powerful industry groups (Alberta Chamber of Resources and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) have convinced government to remove the 'no net loss' goal. The Environment Minister released a policy 'intention' in November of 2010 that, while not the final policy, provides an indication that 'no net loss' will be stripped from the provincial wetlands policy.

Program Statistics

Date Established: 2005 Status: Active Program Type: Combination (One-Off Offset, Compensation)
About the program:
Annual size of program (area): (acre) Year of Data:
Cumulative size of program (area): (acre) Years of Data: -
Annual payments of program (US$): Year of Data:
Cumulative payments of program (US$): Years of Data: -
Notes on program size or payments:
Species or habitat types (if applicable):
Notes: Rubec and Hansen, 2009: http://www.springerlink.com/content/l0r839236g2lw114/ 2007 Provincial Wetland Restoration/Compensation Guide: http://www3.gov.ab.ca/env/water/reports/Prov_Wetland_Rest_Comp_Guide.pdf 1993 Wetland Management in the Settled Area - An Interim Policy: http://environment.gov.ab.ca/info/library/6169.pdf News article: "Alberta Chamber of Resources Says Alberta to Change Wetlands Plan," CP, March 10, 2010, http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5j0zHO4ygMenORYdCfn2hmDH6_rOA Oct 2010 press release "Weakened policy puts Alberta wetlands at risk", http://www.water-matters.org/story/409 News article: " Regulation is deficient in Canada oil sands -study", Reuters, Dec 2010, http://uk.reuters.com/article/2010/12/15/canada-oilsands-environment-idUKN1519514220101215 Obad, personal communication 3/31/2011
Bank regulator information: Government of Alberta - Environment (env.infocent@gov.ab.ca) Last Updated: April 4, 2011