Can I fill or modify wetlands on my property?

Generally, no. If you are planning to purchase a new property, or develop something in a new area on an existing property, wetlands identification should be one of your first steps. It is possible to screen for potential wetlands using national wetlands maps, but a full delineation should be completed before building.

Identifying and delineating wetlands is a complex process because it looks not only at water (hydrology), but also the soils and vegetation that are present. Building within the boundaries of a wetlands will typically result in an agency enforcement action with penalties and possibly an obligation to fund construction of a replacement wetlands. It is much better to fully delineate the wetlands beforehand and then work to minimize any impacts to the wetlands.


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