Note: Most states have enacted laws and regulations to protect wetlands. In many cases, these rules are established to define the state's role in the "§404 permit/§401 certification process." This process involves the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and your state environmental agency. To learn more about the wetlands permitting process go to the CICA Wetlands Regulations/Permit page.
How Are Wetlands Activities Regulated by Delaware? The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) regulates activities under the Wetlands Act. The Secretary of the DNREC decides whether or not a permit for the proposed activity should be issued. The Secretary also prepares wetland inventory maps that are available to the public.
Wetlands. Wetlands are "lands above the mean low water elevation including any bank, marsh, swamp, meadow, flat or other low land subject to tidal action in the state along the Delaware Bay and Delaware River, Indian River Bay, Rehoboth Bay, Little and Big Assawoman Bays, the coastal inland waterways, or along any inlet, estuary, or tributary waterway or portion thereof, including those areas which are now or in this century have been connected to tidal waters, whose surface is at or below an elevation of 2 feet above local mean high water, and upon which may grow or is capable of growing any but not necessarily all of the plants" listed in the statute.
Wetland Categories. The state's conservation laws suggest that wetlands can also be separated according to their ecological value, but specific categories are not mentioned.
Regulated Wetland Activities. Dredging, draining, filling, bulkheading, construction of any kind, including the construction of a pier, jetty, breakwater, boat ramp; or the mining, drilling or excavation of a wetland.
Exempt Wetland Activities. Exemptions are available for: mosquito control activities authorized by the DNREC; construction of directional aids to navigation; duck blinds; foot bridges; the placing of boundary stakes; wildlife nesting structures; grazing of domestic animals; haying; hunting; and fishing and trapping.
Water Environment Federation. The WEF Web site provides access to a wetlands related technical discussion area, as well as publications and other information on wetlands.
Wetlands Regulation Center. The Wetlands Regulation Center Web site contains information on laws, policies and regulations concerning activities regulated under Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act.
Association of State Wetland Managers. The Association of State Wetland Managers Web site provides information on wetlands news and events, including new regulations/legislation, upcoming conferences and events, publications, and more.
Society of Wetland Scientists. The Society of Wetland Scientists Web site provides access to on-line scientific wetlands journals and a wetlands discussion forum, as well as information on upcoming wetlands conferences and events.
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