Are you thinking about developing a parcel of land that may contain or be near wetlands? It’s important to know the environmental rules and regulations before you get started on your project. In this blog post, we will take a look at the basics of wetlands and how they may affect your project.
What are wetlands?
A wetland is a land area that is either permanently or seasonally saturated with water, typically having characteristics of a distinct ecosystem. Some examples include swamps, marshes, and bogs. These bodies of water can contain either fresh, brackish or salt water.
Why are wetlands important?
The productivity of wetland ecosystems are comparable to coral reefs and rainforests. Wetlands aide in wildlife habitat, flood control, and water quality. These areas also allow species possibly facing extinction an environment to flourish.
How do I know if my property contains wetlands?
A good starting place for wetland determination is the Wetlands Mapper, on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service webpage. However, it is highly recommended that you consult with a professional to make sure that you have all of your bases covered.
Who regulates Wetlands?
Wetlands are regulated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by means of the Clean Water Act.
There are wetlands on my property. Now what?
If you find that you are developing land in close proximity to wetlands, contact the Corps for a review request. Either a permit will be required by the Corps, or a Letter of No Permit Required will be issued. It should be noted that it is unlawful to begin work without a Department of the Army permit when one is required.