Are you planning a new land development project, a building expansion, or purchasing land to build your dream home? Before you break ground, it’s important to follow all legal processes to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. Wetland delineation is just one of the services we provide to assess your property prior to development. While delineation may seem like a complicated word, it simply means “to describe something precisely,” and our quality service and attention to detail do just that. We know what to look for and will accurately describe any wetlands or water bodies located on your property that may impact your project, and help you navigate the options to complete your project goals.
What is a wetland delineation?
To understand what we do during a wetland delineation, it must first be understood that a wetland does not necessarily mean that a plot of land is wet. Wetlands include marshes, swamps, bogs, fens, and any shallow open water source. They are important parts of our ecosystem that include the most biologically diverse species on our planet. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, “wetlands are classified by landscape position, vegetation cover, and hydrologic regime.” If you are unsure if your project site contains wetlands, we can help determine if a delineation is necessary.
During a wetland delineation, our team of wetland scientists will determine the existence, if any, size and boundaries of wetlands on your project site. We determine wetland presence through a detailed evaluation of soils, vegetation, and hydrology, contributing to the potential wetland area. Our comprehensive report will be presented to you with our findings, including maps of identified wetlands and water resources at your project site. We can provide recommendations including if local, state, or federal permits may be required for your project.
How do I know if I need a wetland delineation?
A determination of whether wetlands or water bodies are present on a property is required for any project that disturbs the surface of the land. Such projects may include residential home construction, commercial building expansion, driveway installation, alternative energy facility construction, and bridge and highway construction, just to name a few. Wetland delineations are best completed during the growing season, which is typically May-September in our region. However, as long as snow cover is less than one inch on the ground surface, most delineations can be completed during other months, though a re-check during the growing season is often recommended. Wetland and water studies are typically valid for a period of five years, so keep in mind that it is not a one-and-done process, even if you had a determination or delineation completed in the past.
You will want to include a presence/absence determination for wetlands and water bodies on your property or project site early in the planning process. If permits are needed from regulatory authorities for activities that may impact wetlands or water bodies, such approvals can take several months or longer. Activities that require permits include construction within municipal-determined buffer areas, filling of wetlands, re-routing of streams, or crossing wetlands or streams with driveways and roads. If you have any more questions or are ready to schedule your wetland project, reach out and let’s work together!