Puget Sound Nearshore Conservation Marketplace

The Puget Sound Partnership Nearshore Credits Program sells conservation credits to help federal permit applicants meet obligations to offset impacts to critical habitat and uses funds from those credit sales to implement equivalent conservation projects. The credits represent units of nearshore habitat function (as quantified by a calculator developed by the National Marine Fisheries Service). Conservation projects must occur in the same service area as the permitted impact—see map below.

Steps to purchase Partnership nearshore credits

  1. Federal permit applicant (or their consultant) determines conservation debits using the Puget Sound Nearshore Conservation Calculator.

  2. Federal permit applicant submits a completed calculator as part of permit application to the US Army Corps of Engineers. Applicants should also indicate their intention to purchase Partnership conservation credits in that application package.

  3. The Army Corps of Engineers submits the permit applicant’s calculator as part of a consultation package to NOAA Fisheries.

  4. NOAA Fisheries works with applicants to avoid and minimize infrastructure and maintenance project-related impacts to nearshore habitat. Unavoidable impacts will require conservation offsets.

  5. NOAA Fisheries verifies the amount of outstanding conservation necessary to account for unavoidable impacts and informs the Partnership of the finalized calculator total.

  6. Partnership verifies eligibility, requests any additional data, and provides presale agreement to the permittee for signature.

  7. Federal permit applicant and Partnership sign conservation credit presale agreement. Permittee may use the fully executed conservation credit presale agreement to satisfy outstanding conservation obligations, per their final Reasonable and Prudent Alternative decision from NOAA Fisheries.

  8. Federal permit applicant submits full payment and the Partnership confirms transfer of credit responsibility. Payment must be received by the expiration date in the presale agreement.

  9. Federal permit applicant may commence construction work on their infrastructure or maintenance.

NOTE: If other federal, local, or state agencies also require mitigation, and that mitigation was not already included in the conservation calculator, it is the applicant's responsibility to clarify with those agencies whether the conservation credits provided by the Puget Sound Partnership would meet those obligations.

Last updated: 11/10/22


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