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Sediment Mitigation

The Living River Trust is the first in-lieu fee mitigation tool of its kind in the United States to be approved by the federal government for compensation of impacts to the bottom of a waterway.


The Living River Trust meets developers’ needs to offset environmental impacts to the Elizabeth River watershed — particularly impacts to life along the river bottom (benthic impacts).


Funds are used to offset unavoidable impacts when permittees conduct new dredging or filling projects for which government agencies require mitigation. Currently, funds are expended on projects to improve impaired river bottom in other areas of the river.


Use of the Trust for regulatory sanctioned “mitigation,” or offsetting of impacts, should be considered only after every reasonable option has been pursued to avoid or reduce environmental harm.

Clean up at Paradise Creek  video

Operating Agreement

The Elizabeth River Project; the Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Environmental Quality; and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, created the Living River Trust through a July 2003 Memorandum of Understanding. A separate Operating Agreement between these agencies outlines the rules and regulations that govern the Living River Trust. Under these terms, the Trust is one option to provide appropriate mitigation for impacts to aquatic resources authorized by permits issued by the Norfolk District or by the State Water Control Board through the DEQ. The Trust strives to maximize the mitigation benefit to the aquatic environment of the Elizabeth River and the public interest. The full operating agreement can be found here: Operating Agreement


Available Mitigation Credits for River Bottom Impacts

The US Army Corps of Engineers and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) through a permit process require mitigation to compensate for impacts.

The Living River Trust offers advanced mitigation credits for a fee as a mitigation option for permittees. Contact  Liz Friel, Executive Director, | 757.500.4579.

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