Cedar Run Wetlands Bank
Prince William and Fauquier Counties, Virginia
The Cedar Run Wetlands Bank represents the largest mitigation bank in the D.C. Metropolitan area. The bank currently consists of eight different tracts of land comprising a total of approximately 715 acres within the Cedar Run watershed. Wetland construction was completed as follows:
- 63 acres (Phase 2) in September 2000;
- 245 acres (Phases 3 and 4) in October 2001;
- 230 acres (Phases 2A, 6, and 8) in October 2002;
- 67 acres (Phases 1B and 9) in October 2004; and
- 106 acres (Phase 10) in September 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 wetlands were constructed on former cattle pasture and cultivated land, and each phase has its own unique design elements. For example, Phase 2 was constructed to preserve most of the previously existing 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.
The wetland functionality of the bank’s initial phases (constructed in 2000-2002) is readily apparent. During monitoring, WSSI discovered presence of up to 24 volunteer wetland-associated plant species, demonstrating that the conditions in these wetlands are conducive to the establishment and success of a hydrophytic plant community without long-term active management. The 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 numerous wetland-dependent bird species such as herons, egrets, waterfowl, gulls, and shorebirds. To date, over 125 bird species have been recorded, including northern harriers, osprey, hawks, falcons, and bald eagles. Deer, beaver, muskrats, foxes, and coyotes are just a few of the mammals that have been spotted at the Cedar Run Wetlands Bank.
Along with the Julie J. Metz and North Fork Wetlands Banks, the Cedar Run Wetlands Bank was featured by the Terrene Institute at its 5th annual mitigation banking conference in February 2002.