Commodifying Streams: A Critical Physical Geography Approach to Stream Mitigation Banking in the USA

  • Rebecca Lave
  • Martin Doyle
  • Morgan Robertson
  • Jai Singh


The idea of selling nature in order to save it is at the core of market-based approaches to environmental conservation, which are increasingly common in the USA and internationally. What are the consequences of this shift? Has putting a price tag on nature succeeded in protecting it where previous command-and-control environmental regulation failed? In this chapter, we answer these questions through a case study of stream mitigation banking. Drawing on social science data from document analysis and interviews across the USA, and natural science data from geomorphic fieldwork in North Carolina, a national stream restoration hotspot, we argue that market-based environmental management is magnifying existing trends rather than improving conservation.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca Lave
    • 1
  • Martin Doyle
    • 2
  • Morgan Robertson
    • 3
  • Jai Singh
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of GeographyIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Nicholas School, Duke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Department of GeographyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  4. 4.Cbec Eco EngineeringWest SacramentoUSA

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