Wetlands provide a wide variety of economical, ecological, and sociological benefits. Because of this, they’re protected by federal, state, and local regulations. Working with wetlands requires complying with the Clean Water Act.
So why is this important? Well, to put it simply, wetlands are protected. This means that if you have any intention to impact a wetland in any way—like drain an agricultural field or build a road—you’ll need to conduct a wetland delineation first.
Sure, marshes, bogs, and swamps are common examples of wetlands. However, some wetlands aren’t wet all the time—like those that can be mowed or farmed.
The Basics Of Wetland Delineation
Wetland delineation establishes the location, size, and boundaries of a wetland. For an area to be classified as a wetland, but has to predominantly support plants that only grow in or around water, have a layer of predominantly undrained hydric soil, and that layer must be saturated with or covered by shallow water at least sometime during each year’s growing season.
While it may sound fairly simple, wetlands can be tricky to identify. That’s why it’s important to have a professional survey the land and perform wetland delineation.
So why is it important to protect our wetlands? They provide many benefits to our environment—like improving water quality, controlling flooding, and recharging groundwaters. Wetlands also provide stunning areas for viewing wildlife and participating in recreational activities, plus protect biodiversity by housing many species and food sources.
If you plan to develop any type of project on or around a potential wetland area, wetland delineation is essential. You’ll also need to have the delineated wetland boundary approved by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and obtain a permit.
Once the wetland delineation report is approved, it’s valid for five years. If a wetland is found during your wetland delineation, the USACE will determine whether your wetland area is jurisdictional. If it’s not, you’ll be cleared to carry out your project.
It’s crucial to understand if the land you own or plan to impact or develop contains any wetlands, and to make sure you understand the regulations involved.
Wetlands are absolutely key to our environment, and developing them requires and deserves thorough planning. Civil Solutions Group can help with professional wetland delineation in your area.