What are wetlands, floodplains and riverfronts?

Wetlands include the obviously wet areas such as lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, marshes and swamps. Legally, the term also includes areas where groundwater is near or above the surface of the ground long enough during the growing season to support wetland vegetation and establish hydric soil conditions. They may be dry for a significant portion of the year. Wetlands are called Bordering Vegetated Wetlands (BVW) if they are adjacent to a water body. Isolated Wetlands are unconnected to a water body and may include seasonal or “vernal” pools.

Floodplains are areas bordering rivers and streams that flood following rain storms or snowmelt.

Riverfront Areas border rivers and streams that flow throughout the year (perennial) and extend, under state law, 200 feet from the edge of the bank or mean annual high water elevation.

Show All Answers

1. What are wetlands, floodplains and riverfronts?
2. Why are wetlands, floodplains and riverfronts protected?
3. How are boundaries of wetlands and floodplains identified?
4. What activities are subject to the Wetlands Protection Act?
5. What if work is planned in or near a resource area?
6. What happens if a violation of the Act occurs?
7. What other wetland related regulations may apply?
8. How can I get more information?