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 Wisconsin? Wisconsin has recently enacted legislation regulating isolated wetlands. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will regulate discharges into wetlands, as well as issue certificates for discharges that comply with all applicable state and federal water quality standards.
Wetlands. Wetlands are areas where water is at, near or above the land surface long enough to be capable of supporting aquatic or hydrophytic vegetation and which have soils indicative of wet conditions. The state currently maps wetlands that are five acres or more.
Wetland Categories. Areas of special natural resource interest include wetlands within the boundary of designated areas of special natural resource interest and those wetlands in proximity to or have a direct connection to such designated areas. These areas are recognized by the state as having special ecological, cultural, aesthetic, educational, recreational or scientific qualities.
Regulated Wetland Activities. Any discharges of dredged or filled material into a wetland that is not subject to federal regulation after the SWANCC decision are covered by the new law.331 The discharge of dredged and fill material is prohibited unless authorized by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Certified activities must have only a minimal adverse environmental impact when performed separately or cumulatively.
Exempt Wetland Activities. Activities exempt under the federal law are exempt under Wisconsin law. Exemptions also apply to normal farming, silviculture, and ranching activities; the construction and maintenance of farm ponds, stock ponds, or irrigation ditches; the maintenance of ditches; and the construction of farm and forest roads.
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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