Wetlands State Resource Locator

State Wetlands Information Tool (SWIFT)


North Dakota

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 North Dakota? The water commission regulates activities in state wetlands through its drainage permit program.

    Mitigation Measures. Persons must apply for a wetland restoration permit when the state engineer has determined that restoration does not increase the wetland's capacity beyond twelve and one-half acre feet. See Mitigation Fact Sheet: ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/ND/factsheets/mitigation_fs.pdf.

Regulatory Definitions
    Wetlands. Wetlands are waters within the limits of the state that are on the surface of the earth, excluding diffused surface waters, but including surface waters whether flowing in well-defined channels or flowing through lakes, ponds, or marshes which constitute integral parts of a stream system, or waters in lakes.

    Regulated Wetland Activities. A wetland restoration permit is required whenever a wetland is to be restored and the state engineer has determined that the restoration does not increase the wetland's natural capacity more than twelve and one-half feet. A permit also is required before beginning any of the following activities: constructing a drain for the purpose of draining waters from a pond, slough, lake, or sheetwater, or any series thereof, having a watershed of eighty acres or more; drainage by pumping a pond, slough, lake, or sheetwater, or any series thereof, having a watershed of eighty acres or more; draining or attempting to drain any meandered lake; the construction of an assessment drain pursuant to North Dakota Century Code chapter 61-16.1 or 61-21; the construction of any lateral drain; the modification of the drainage authorized in the original permit; modification of drainage includes deepening and widening of a drain, or the extension of any drain; filling a pond, slough, lake, or sheetwater which has a watershed of eighty acres or more, for the purpose of causing the pond, slough, lake, or sheetwater to be drained by elimination of all or a portion of the existing storage.

    Exempt Wetland Activities. A drainage permit under § 89-02-01-03 is not required for maintenance of a drain. Permit requirements do not apply to any drain constructed under the direct and comprehensive supervision of the federal or state agencies specified in this section. The agencies capable of providing supervision and analyzing downstream impacts are: the State Water Commission; the Army Corps of Engineers; the Natural Resources and Conservation Service, for projects constructed pursuant to the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act; the Bureau of Reclamation, for projects that are part of the originally authorized Garrison Diversion Unit authorized in 1965; and the State Department of Transportation, for federal aid projects.

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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