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 Mississippi? The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Office of Pollution Control and Mississippi Department of Marine Resources administer the state's wetland policy. Specifically, the Department of Marine Resource has authority to issue permits under the Coastal Wetlands Protection Act and the DEQ issues water quality certifications under § 401 for discharges into waters of the U.S. located in Mississippi.
Mitigation Measures. A permit can be conditioned to ensure the applicant incorporates any mitigation measures that the program requires.
Wetlands. Coastal wetlands means all publicly owned lands subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, which are below the watermark of ordinary high tide; all publicly owned accretions above the watermark of ordinary high tide; and all publicly owned submerged water-bottoms below the watermark of ordinary high tide.
Regulated Wetland Activities. The following activities are regulated: the dredging, excavating or removing of soil, mud, sand, gravel, flora, fauna or aggregate of any kind from any coastal wetland; the dumping, filling or depositing of any soil, stones, sand, gravel, mud, aggregate of any kind or garbage, either directly or indirectly, on or in any coastal wetlands; killing or materially damaging any flora or fauna on or in any coastal wetland; the erection on coastal wetlands of structures which materially affect the ebb and flow of the tide; and the erection of any structure or structures on suitable sites for water dependent industry.
Exempt Wetland Activities. The following activities do not require a permit: the accomplishment of emergency decrees of any duly appointed health officer; the conservation, repletion and research activities of specific state agencies and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium when acting through the Mississippi Universities Marine Center; hunting, erecting duck blinds, fishing, shellfishing and trapping when and where otherwise permitted by law; swimming, hiking, boating or other recreation that causes no material harm to wetlands; the exercise of riparian rights by the owner of the riparian rights; normal maintenance and repair of bulkheads, piers, roads and highways; interstate highways planned but not yet under construction and financed in part by Federal Interstate Highway Trust Funds; wetlands developed in the future by federal, state or county governments for the establishment of a superport or a pipeline buoy terminal for deep-draft, ocean-going vessels, including but not limited to, wetlands adjacent to Petit Bois Island and the Bayou Casotte Channel in Jackson County, Mississippi; the Biloxi Bridge and Park Commission, Biloxi Port Commission, Long Beach Port Commission, Pass Christian Port Commission, Pascagoula Port Commission, and any municipal or local port authorities; any activity associated with or is necessary for the exploration, production or transportation of oil or gas when such activity is conducted under a current and valid permit; activities of any mosquito control commission; the Fisherman's Wharf in Biloxi and the Buccaneer State Park in Hancock County; wetlands conveyed by the state for industrial development; and activities authorized by specific county commissions listed in the statute.
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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