Alberta Wetland Mitigation

Alberta Wetland Mitigation
Posted on 05/09/2019

The Government of Alberta recognizes the importance of wetland preservation to Albertans; however, it also recognizes the economic, political, and social pressures for ongoing development in the province, and that these pressures will at times be in conflict with the preservation of wetlands.


To deal with these conflicting demands, the province developed a wetland mitigation hierarchy which outlines a series of mitigation options when an action is proposed that might cause the loss or degradation of a wetland.

Proponents of a development near wetlands are required to evaluate the potential impact on the wetlands and take steps to minimize environmental damage.

MitigationThe Wetland Mitigation Directive, released as a part of the White Area implementation of the Wetland Policy, describes how to implement the mitigation hierarchy (see image). The purpose of the Directive is to inform decision making to avoid and minimize negative impacts to wetlands and, where necessary, replace lost wetland area and value.

The Alberta Wetland Policy provides a strategic framework for conserving, restoring and protecting Alberta’s wetlands (Alberta Wetland Policy, 2013). Applicants must adhere to the Wetland Mitigation Hierarchy through all stages of a proposed activity, from initial planning considerations through operations and reclamation.

Under the Alberta Wetland Policy, it is the onus of the applicant to avoid wetland impacts from planning the activity to submitting a regulatory application, and to justify wetland impacts where avoidance is not practicable.

To download a copy of the Alberta Wetland Replacement Fact Sheet please click here.

To find out more about the Alberta Wetland Policy click here.