Cedar Run Wetlands Bank – the largest mitigation bank in the D.C. Metropolitan area – is composed of eight different tracts of land totaling approximately 715 acres within the Cedar Run watershed. After WSSI’s site evaluations and design, wetland construction on the earliest section concluded in 2000 and the last construction ended in 2005.

Located immediately adjacent to Cedar Run in Prince William and Fauquier Counties, these phases provide a total of 375 acres of created, restored, and enhanced wetlands, 3.5 acres of open water, 81 acres of preserved wetlands, and 216 acres of preserved or reforested upland buffers, including mature bottomland forest along Cedar Run.

The Challenge

Transform cattle pasture and cultivated lands along rural Cedar Run into a complex mosaic of wetland types, open water, and forested upland buffers to create this large and complex wetland bank. In design, account for a wide range of site characteristics in this project with eight tracts of land and a staggered design and construction schedule.

Our Solution

WSSI’s detailed evaluations of site characteristics, natural resources, and topography provided the information our engineers, scientists, and ecosystem specialists needed to design the best possible wetland mitigation ecosystems, restoring high-value functionality to degraded lands and preserving existing mature forested bottomlands.

Each tract of Cedar Run has unique design elements. For example, Phase 2 allows for preservation of emergent wetlands by incorporating them into the construction design and enhancing them through the planting of trees and shrubs. Phase 2A, on the other hand, contains open water areas and complex mosaics of emergent, scrub-shrub, and forested wetlands that further enhance habitat and wildlife diversity.

Cedar Run’s wetland functionality is readily apparent. During monitoring, WSSI staff discovered presence of two dozen volunteer wetland-associated plant species, demonstrating that the conditions in these wetlands support the establishment and success of this hydrophytic plant community without long-term active management. Cedar Run Wetlands Bank has also become home to many reptile, bird, and mammal species. All phases host thousands of breeding frogs and toads in the spring, and they attract more than 125 wetland-dependent bird species such as herons, egrets, waterfowl, gulls, and shorebirds, as well as northern harriers, osprey, hawks, falcons, and bald eagles. The mammal population includes deer, beaver, muskrats, foxes, and coyotes.

The quality of Wetland Studies’ mitigation banks at both Cedar Run and North Fork have consistently met or exceeded the agencies’ performance criteria. The company’s track record for building high quality wetland mitigation banks will continue to ensure a high level of trust and respect among the Federal agencies as we work with Wetland Studies on future projects.

Gregory Peck, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Project Facts
  • Owner
    Cedar Run Wetlands, LC
  • Location
    Prince William and Fauquier Counties, VA
  • Size
    ± 715 acres
  • Brian Chromey

    Gainesville, VA