Wetlands State Resource Locator

State Wetlands Information Tool (SWIFT)


Iowa

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.

Primary State Wetlands Web Page. This web page should explain the state wetlands program and provide links to various wetlands resources.

Construction Permit Process - State Rules

    How Are Wetlands Activities Regulated by Iowa? Iowa's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) oversees the protection of wetlands within the state. It regulates wetlands under its Wetland Protection Plan. The plan sets criteria by which a wetland can be prioritized for protection. The DNR conducts an inventory of the wetlands and marshes in each county and then combines its findings into a map that displays all areas designated as protected wetlands. Applicants can seek a §401 certification from the water resources section of Iowa's Water Quality Bureau. The water resources section oversees water quality and quantity programs.

    Mitigation Measures. Permits are not issued unless the applicant replaces the destroyed land with a wetland of equal or greater value.

Regulatory Definitions
    Wetlands. Wetlands are defined as an "area of two or more acres in a natural condition that is mostly under water or waterlogged during the spring growing season and is characterized by vegetation of hydric soils." Wetlands do not include land within a drainage district or levee district or areas where an agricultural drainage has been plugged, creating a temporary wetland.

    Regulated Wetland Activities. Persons cannot drain a protected wetland without first obtaining a permit.

    Exempt Wetland Activities. Areas less than two acres in size are exempt from the program. The following activities also do not require a permit: "1. A landowner using the bed of a protected wetland for pasture or cropland if there is no construction of dikes, ditches, tile lines, or buildings and the use does not result in drainage; 2. A person maintaining, repairing, or replacing an improvement to a drainage district, as long as the improvement continues to serve the drainage district and the functions of the improvement are not expanded beyond the scope of functions" designated for such purposes.

Wetland Regulatory Background Information Organizations/Non-Government Programs
  • 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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