2019 Compensatory Mitigation Webinar Series

Webinar 8: An Ecological Framework for Reviewing Compensatory Mitigation: Oversight and Compliance

Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 2:00pm – 4:30pm Eastern

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  • Kristina Hall, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Sarah Woodford, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
  • Ashely Zavagno, CA WRA, Inc.


Kristina Hall
Oversight and compliance is an important component of compensatory mitigation. This presentation will discuss oversight and compliance from the perspective of a Corps Regulator as well as important “touch points” in mitigation plan review, approval, implementation, monitoring and long term management. Examples of effective adjustment of anticipated outcomes will be given and along with flexibility in the Regulatory’s oversight of the compensatory mitigation process.

Sarah Woodford
Oversight and compliance are essential components of any functional regulatory program. This presentation discusses oversight tools that are used in Virginia in the regulation of mitigation banks and in-lieu fee programs. In addition, through several case studies, the presentation will provide a state perspective of the communication and resolutions that developed when non-compliance or other issues were identified.

Ashley Zavagno
Oversight and compliance challenges in compensatory mitigation are different for project sponsors and consultants than for regulators. This presentation will explore challenges faced by project sponsors and consultants during the development, implementation, monitoring, and long-term management stages of mitigation projects and offer potential solutions and best management practices. Such challenges include implementing complex performance standards for multiple agencies, finding appropriate easement and endowment holders, disparity in endowment requirements across projects, coordinating decisions with multiple parties during implementation, and lack of collaboration between agencies and project proponents during project development.


Kristi HallKristi Hall, Professional Wetland Scientist, is currently the USACE Regulatory Headquarters Science Detailee. When not on detail assignment, she is a Senior Environmental Scientist with the Vicksburg District Regulatory Branch, Evaluation Section. At the District, Kristi primarily focuses on mitigation banking and standard permitting. Kristi has worked in the Regulatory field since 2003 and has been with the Vicksburg District since 2015. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Virginia Tech and her master’s degree in fisheries and wildlife biology from Colorado State University. Kristi has worked in both the public and private sectors with the Mississippi Department of Transportation, USACE ERDC Environmental Lab, as well as several private consulting firms prior to working with USACE Regulatory. Kristi served as Acting Technical Services Branch Chief in the Nashville District in 2017 and was named the 2018 Vicksburg District Regulator of the Year. In her “free time” she can be found shuttling her two kids to their numerous athletic endeavors, and working with her husband to build their own home in Vicksburg.

Sarah Woodford Sarah Woodford is the Compensatory Mitigation Specialist for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. She is the state chair of the Interagency Review Team for all non-tidal wetland and stream mitigation banks and in-lieu fee programs in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District, and ensures that mitigation sponsors adhere to State Water Control Law and Virginia Water Protection Permit Program regulations. Sarah works closely with the Corps and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission IRT chairs, along with other member agencies of the IRT, to reach consensus on complex issues in compensatory mitigation. She also assists permit managers, mitigation sponsors, consultants, and the regulated public in understanding the mitigation process. Prior to DEQ, Sarah worked as an environmental consultant, where she focused on water quality monitoring and stream mitigation assessment, restoration design, and post-construction performance monitoring.

Ashley Zavagno Ashley Zavagno is a Restoration Ecologist and Project Manager at WRA, Inc., a private environmental consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolution from U.C. Santa Barbara and her Master of Environmental Science and Management with a specialization in conservation planning from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. She is also a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner through the Society of Ecological Restoration and a Certified Ecologist through the Ecological Society of America. For the past several years, she has been overseeing the entitlement, permitting, implementation, monitoring, and long-term management of various mitigation banks and large-scale permittee-responsible mitigation projects throughout California. She has worked in various western landscapes including tidal wetlands, vernal pools, chaparral, coniferous forests, and oak woodlands, but her passion is rivers and salmonids. 

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