When do I need to get a wetlands permit?

Permits are required for any activity that will alter wetlands, floodplains, riverfront areas (land within 200 feet of any stream or river that flows all year long), and land within 100 feet of wetlands, commonly called the “buffer zone.”

Activities that typically require permits include clearing of vegetation, tree cutting, grading and filling, constructing and demolishing structures, paving, and other work that will alter vegetation, soils, topography, or storm water runoff characteristics.

Projects that require permits run from small projects such as fences, tree-cutting, decks, and sheds, to major projects such as additions, new houses, subdivisions, and commercial/industrial projects. The trigger is their location in or near wetlands.

Permits may also be used to confirm wetlands boundaries, as a preliminary step before design work.