Are there wetlands on my property?
Wetlands are transitional areas where land and water meet. Whether water is slightly above or below the surface of the land, the single controlling feature that makes the difference when identifying whether or not an area is a wetland is the presence of water.
Land does not have to be wet all of the time in order to be defined as a wetland. In some cases, it will not be immediately obvious that a wetland exists. The presence of water will, however, cause a number of physical, chemical and biological characteristics to develop. These characteristics can be used to identify and locate wetlands.
Because wetlands are identified according to the site-specific development of physical and biological conditions, an on-site inspection is always necessary to determine, with certainty, whether wetlands are present. Other information, such as DEQ Wetland Inventory Maps, National Wetland Inventory Maps, County Soil Surveys, and aerial photos provide indications of where wetlands may exist. However, these may not include all wetlands and may identify areas that once were, but no longer are, wetlands. As a result, the actual conditions at a property will always take precedence over any information source.
DEQ Wetland Inventory Maps show the general location of wetlands in your county. However, because of the scale of these maps and the methods used to produce them, they cannot be used to accurately define the location and boundaries of wetlands on an individual parcel of land.
DEQ Wetland Inventory Maps
When it is necessary to accurately identify the location of a wetland or its boundaries, a site analysis through the Wetland Identification Program or by a qualified consultant is needed.
Wetland Identification Program
If you have a proposed project and are uncertain if it will impact wetlands, a Pre-application Meeting with the DEQ may be helpful.