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Great Ecology is an ecological consulting firm focused on the restoration, planning, and design of both natural and urban environments through sustainable solutions. We integrate science with design to solve complex ecological challenges to achieve environmental, social, and business goals.

Featured Project

Development of a Guidance Manual on Ecological Reuse Opportunities

Mitigation Banking,


An international oil and gas company engaged Great Ecology to develop a guidance manual that will serve as a reference tool for the company’s project managers to assess mitigation banking opportunities for the surplus properties they manage. The manual describes opportunities to increase property asset value by returning former buffer and operational properties to ecological uses, which may include conservation and mitigation banking, conservation easements or deed restrictions, enhancement of natural capital to maximize tax donation value, and inclusion in a Natural Resources Conservation Service Program

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Featured Project

Program of Site Evaluations for Surplus and Buffer Properties

Ecological Design & Planning, Mitigation Banking,


An international oil and gas company was evaluating a strategy to generate mitigation and conservation banking credits from their portfolio of surplus and buffer properties. Great Ecology participated in the vetting of this strategy through the evaluation of 20+ potential properties located throughout the Western United States. Evaluations involved: assessment of regional ecosystem markets (credit supply and demand); preliminary analysis of site conditions and potential for ecological uplift; pro forma evaluations of banking opportunities; and in some cases, preliminary identification of credit buyers. Great Ecology's evaluations informed the client’s decisions regarding mitigation banking as a strategy to monetize their surplus and buffer properties

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Featured Project

Port of San Diego Mitigation Bank

Habitat Restoration, Mitigation Banking,

Pond 20 South San Diego

Great Ecology was selected by the San Diego Unified Port District (Port) to conduct a mitigation bank evaluation for Pond 20, a 95-acre undeveloped site and former salt pond. Located in South San Diego Bay, Pond 20 is an integral part of the Palm Avenue “gateway to South San Diego County’s beaches”. As a result, the project has been (and is)  the subject of extensive stakeholder outreach.  

The proposed mitigation bank will encompass the majority of the site and is the first project of a three part development plan approved by the Board of Port Commissioner’s in July 2015. To ensure the long term success, specifically meeting project goals of habitat restoration and economic development, the Great Ecology Team is providing an iterative, phased approach informed by our experience working as consultants for many mitigation banking companies. This approach allows us to quickly and efficiently identify ecological and financial constraints and opportunities.

Phase I is currently underway and includes an in-depth feasibility study of the 80-acre proposed mitigation bank. During this phase, we are analyzing and assessing the biological feasibility, economic viability, and the regulatory environment – all of which will provide Port staff information they need to move the project forward. Phase I is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2016.

The project team is led by Great Ecology Founder and President, Dr. Mark S. Laska, who brings over 20 years of experience in habitat restoration and mitigation banking and provides support for many entities advancing mitigation banks in California and several other states. Additional leadership is provided by Director of Ecology, Nick Buhbe, who brings a 20 year plus career focused on Southern California marine and terrestrial habitats.  Great Ecology’s extensive mitigation banking and habitat restoration experience is enhanced by a robust project team including RECON, ESA, and AES.


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