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 Hawaii? The Hawaii Office of Planning oversees the state's Coastal Zone Management Program.
Mitigation Measures. Variances are granted for certain activities that are prohibited by the Act. Applicants must show the project maintains safe lateral access to and along the shoreline or adequately compensates for its loss; minimizes risk of adverse impacts on beach processes; minimizes adverse impacts on public views from and along the shoreline. See: http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/czm/309.html.
Wetlands. Wetlands located within coastal zone management areas and shoreline areas are covered by the program. Coastal Zone Management Areas means "all lands of the state and the area extending seaward from the shoreline to the limit of the state's police power and management authority, including the U.S. territorial sea." The shoreline is the "upper reaches of the water of the waves, other than storm and seismic waves, at high tide during the season of the year in which the highest wash of the waves occurs, usually evidenced by the edge of vegetation growth, or the upper limit of debris left by the wash of the waves."
Regulated Wetland Activities. The Coastal Zone Management Act regulates all "developments," meaning any activity on land or in or under water within a special management area that constitutes the placement of any solid material or any gaseous, liquid, soil, or thermal waste; grading, removing, dredging, mining, or extraction of any materials; change in the density of intensity of use of land, including the division or subdivision of land; change in the intensity of water use; construction, reconstruction, demolition, or alteration of the size of any structure.
Exempt Wetland Activities. "Development" does not include construction of a single family residence that is not part of a larger development; repair or maintenance of roads and highways; routine maintenance dredging of existing streams, channels, and drainage ways; repair and maintenance of underground utility lines; zoning variances; repair, maintenance, or interior alterations to existing structures; demolition or removal of existing structures; use of land for the cultivation and harvest of crops, trees, or other agricultural/forestry products and purposes; transfer of land title; creation or termination of easements, covenants, or other rights to land structures; subdivision of land into lots greater than twenty acres; subdivision of land into four or fewer parcels when no associated construction activities are proposed; instillation of underground utility lines; improvements to single-family residences; nonstructural improvements to existing commercial structures.
Wetland Regulatory Background Information
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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