Ontario Nature has issued a report, “Navigating the Swamp: Lessons on Wetland Offsetting for Ontario” by David Poulton and Anne Bell (July 2017, 78 pp.) From the Executive Summary:
The report makes 22 recommendations.
UPDATE – June 2023
Since the 2017 report, Ontario Nature has published more on the issue of the effectiveness of offsetting loss of wetland with “new” wetlands, including a June 2023 report, “Wise practices for wetland offsetting in Ontario.” It and other resources can be found here.
The new report notes that “Ample evidence suggests offsetting is an extremely risky practice with a very low record of success” that “involves an extremely risky trade-off whereby conservation actions (e.g., the creation or restoration of wetlands) are implemented to compensate for wetland destruction or degradation. It is a trade-off that seldom works in nature’s favour. Although offsetting policies are often guided by the objective of achieving no net loss of wetland features, research has repeatedly demonstrated that this goal is rarely achieved.”
However, the current government is determined to allow and promote this practice, so the report provides “a framework, key information, and examples for developing and assessing offsetting policies to help ensure the best possible outcomes for wetlands and the communities that depend on them.”