Mitigating the environmental impacts of development actions on the Nation's wetlands and other aquatic resources is a central premise of Federal wetlands programs. The Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 permit program relies on the use of compensatory mitigation to offset unavoidable damage to wetlands and other aquatic resources through, for example, the restoration or creation of wetlands. Mitigation for wetland impacts may take place on-site, off-site, in mitigation banks, or be funded by in-lieu fees. Mitigation may include creation, enhancement or restoration of wetlands and their functions or, in some cases, may include preservation of wetlands and associated upland buffers.
Under the "Swampbuster" provisions of the Food Security Act (FSA), farmers are required to provide mitigation to offset certain conversions of wetlands for agricultural purposes in order to maintain their program eligibility.