Julie J. Metz Wetlands Bank

Prince William County, Virginia
Owner: Prince William County

In 1994, Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. (WSSI) obtained approval for the first private wetlands mitigation bank in Virginia, the 230-acre Julie J. Metz Wetlands Bank.  By the end of 1996, a total of 17 acres of wetlands had been constructed; the remaining 213 acres of the site consist of upland buffers and existing wetlands that will be preserved in perpetuity.  Selected design features include a two mile wood chip and boardwalk nature trail; forested wetlands with several sub-communities defined by elevation and species composition; and pockets of emergent marsh and shrub wetlands to maximize wildlife values.  In September 1995, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) dedicated this project in honor of Julie J. Metz, a COE biologist who led the Inter-Agency Mitigation Bank Agreement Task Force, and who passed away from breast cancer at age 38.  The project received the NAIOP Environmental Award in 1995.

WSSI monitored Phase I of the bank for 12 years and Phase II of the bank for 10 years, as stipulated in the Mitigation Banking Instrument – and continued monitoring for an additional 10 years for research purposes.  Through monitoring, WSSI demonstrated that the created wetland had successfully met all monitoring criteria both in extreme drought and in extremely wet years.  In February 2005, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the wetland bank as successful, and the land has since been donated to Prince William County.

WSSI’s restrictive covenant for Julie J. Metz Wetlands Bank included allowances for recreational trails, boardwalks, and observation structures. As the steward of this wetlands bank, Prince William County funded the design and construction (by others) of the 3,000’ Neabsco Creek Boardwalk, part of the National Park Service’s Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.

WSSI's work for the Julie J. Metz Wetlands Bank included:

  • Mitigation Banking Instrument

  • Mitigation Credit Accounting Ledger

  • COE Nationwide Permit

  • Vegetation and Hydrology Monitoring Reports

  • Soil Permeability/Fertility Testing

  • Photo Documentation

  • WOUS Delineation Report

  • Jurisdictional Determination

  • ETS Research

  • Pre-Wetland Ground Monitoring Report

  • Wetland Mitigation Concept Plan

  • Wetland Design/Construction Plan Set

  • As-Built Survey