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VANCOUVER -- A new way to stop construction from overwhelming the state's wetlands is benefiting both the environment and the economy.

The Vancouver Columbian reports wetlands mitigation banks are a way to make up for natural habitat that's buried or destroyed by construction.

Many large construction projects need to navigate a complicated regulatory maze when building in areas where wetlands are near. They often end up building and maintaining man-made wetlands nearby. But wetlands banks offer another alternative.

But they're gaining favor among state regulators, builders and public agencies as new projects continue to encroach on sensitive natural areas.

Builders like wetland banks for the added flexibility they offer new projects. State ecology officials like them for their natural benefit, often showing more success than a smaller wetland squeezed into a construction site somewhere.

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