What You Should Know About Wetland Delineation –
Wetlands are defined by the EPA as “areas where water covers the soil or is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods of time, including during the growing season.” They are an important part of our ecosystem, providing a host of benefits including groundwater recharge, flood protection, erosion control, a natural habitat for flora and fauna, and more. Thus, there are various federal, local, and state environmental regulations in place to protect them. Because wetlands aren’t always easy to identify and can be present even when there is no standing water onsite, land under consideration for development should be surveyed early on by a wetland delineation professional.
What is wetland delineation?
Wetland delineation is the analysis of soil, vegetation, and hydrology that determines whether regulated wetlands exist on a property and to what extent. Identified wetlands are plotted on a detailed delineation map supported by data and photographs, and onsite boundaries are marked with flags. Many of NJ and PA’s wetlands have previously been identified in GIS maps provided by the DEP, providing a good starting point for the wetland delineation process. Aerial photographs and soil maps can be valuable resources, as well.
Do I need a professional wetland delineation?
Because protected wetlands can limit or prohibit the development of a property, a wetland delineation should be conducted when considering purchasing a piece of land or planning a project. Determining the best course of action and obtaining the proper permits for building on wetlands can be complex and confusing, and a highly-experienced wetland delineation specialist can guide clients through this thorny process. Those in the preliminary stages of considering a piece of land for purchase may want to have a wetland delineation professional perform a general property assessment, sometimes known as a wetland reconnaissance, as a cost-effective alternative.
Finelli Consulting Engineers, Inc. is highly experienced in wetlands delineation and permitting, serving clients ranging from single-family property owners to large development firms. We help you seamlessly navigate the entire wetland delineation process, from early feasibility studies through obtaining the proper permits in a timely fashion to keep projects on schedule and avoid expensive delays. For more information, please contact FCE at (908) 835-9500.
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