What is a wetland?
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps)
and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
define wetlands as those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas.
Wetlands are areas that are covered by water or have waterlogged soils for long periods during the growing season. Plants growing in wetlands are capable of living in saturated soil conditions for at least part of the growing season. Wetlands such as swamps and marshes are often obvious, but some wetlands are not easily recognized, often because they are dry during part of the year or "they just don't look very wet" from the roadside.
Some of these wetland types are many bottomland forests, pocosins, pine savannahs, bogs, wet meadows, potholes and wet tundra. The information presented here usually will enable you to determine whether you might have a wetland.
If you intend to place dredged or fill material in a wetland or in an area that might be a wetland, contact the local Corps district office for assistance in determining if a permit is required. Why is it necessary to consider whether an area is a wetland? Section 404 of the Clean Water Act requires that anyone interested in depositing dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands, must receive authorization for such activities. The Corps has been assigned responsibility for administering the Section 404 permitting process. Activities in wetlands for which permits may be required include, but are not limited to:
Placement of fill material.
Ditching activities when the excavated material is sidecast.
Levee and dike construction.
Mechanized land clearing.
Most road construction.
Wetlands fill activities
Final determination of whether an area is a wetland and the activity requires a permit must be made by the appropriate Corps district office.