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Wetland delineation

If you’re planning a project near wetlands or waterbodies, such as a stream or lake, you might wonder where to start to ensure regulatory compliance. Cherry Ridge LLC can help you navigate the process and plan your project effectively to protect these resources, so you don’t end up in “troubled waters”. Let’s look at what the process entails. 


A wetland delineation is the process of determining the boundaries of the wetlands and waters on your property. These boundaries aid in the construction planning process, defining where construction can occur to avoid impacts to the wetlands and waters. The amount of space required between the wetland boundary and the proposed activity in Pennsylvania varies by location and is known as a setback or buffer. These are generally defined at the municipal level.

When performing this fieldwork, Cherry Ridge LLC follows the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1987 Wetland Delineation Manual and corresponding regional supplement for the site location. The boundary of the wetland is determined through evaluation of the soil, vegetation, and hydrology.


When encroachment upon wetlands or waters cannot be avoided to accomplish the proposed project, permits at the state and/or Federal level are required. Under the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), there are many different rules and regulations that the state implements to protect these valuable habitats. 

The Stream and Wetland Regulatory Program, also known as the Water Obstruction and Encroachment Program, has many responsibilities concerning obstruction and encroachment of waterways. They aim to protect the important resources and benefits of wetlands such as water filtration, flood protection, erosion control, recreation, natural products, and hunting/fishing opportunities. Within the PADEP this program provides state regulations and permitting information through resources such as:

  • Chapter 105 and 106 Regulations
  • Federal Clean Water Act, Section 404, Joint Permit Applications
  • Rivers and Harbors Act, Section 10
  • Federal Clean Water Act, Section 401

Ensuring that your project is abiding by the state and Federal regulations to protect wetlands and waters is one of the most important parts of any project planning process. If you need assistance or more information regarding delineation and permitting, contact Cherry Ridge Consulting today! We can work with you to guide you through the process, keeping your project on schedule and compliant.