Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires a permit to impact jurisdictional waters, including adjacent wetland areas. Jurisdictional waters can include streams, rivers, lakes and adjacent wetlands, among other waters.
While it is typically easy to identify whether a stream, river or lake is located on a property, how do you identify a wetland?
Wetlands are those areas inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater 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 (EPA 2015). It is important to remember that a wetland does not need to be inundated throughout the year.
Wetland areas can be extremely diverse and are home to a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic organisms. There are freshwater and coastal wetlands, shallow depressional wetlands, deep forested swamps, etc. Aside from habitat, wetlands also provide other ecological functions, such as flood storage, water