A Practitioner’s Handbook: Optimizing Conservation and Improving Mitigation Through the Use of Progressive Approaches

Environmental Law Institute et al

In this handbook we provide an overarching view of the ecosystem and economic benefits and cost savings associated with progressive approaches to the Clean Water Act or Endangered Species Act compensatory mitigation and compare these benefits and savings to traditional mitigation approaches. We then highlight several empirical examples of transferable tools, models, and frame-works used for innovative compensatory mitigation in use throughout the United States. We highlight innovative tools, methods, and frameworks that focus on landscape or watershed analysis of ecosystem functions only, as well as progressive approaches that include the valuation of ecosystem services provided by compensatory mitigation. Finally, we lay out tangible steps for transportation agencies, policy-makers, and the research community to facilitate and implement progressive mitigation programs.

NatureServe Author(s)


  • Environmental Law Institute, et al. 2011. A practitioner’s handbook: Optimizing conservation and improving mitigation through the use of progressive approaches. Presented by Cambridge Systematics to the National Cooperative Highway Research Program Project 25-25, Task 67.