Massachusetts wetlands protection act buffer zone

Can you build on wetlands in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts has one of the most restrictive wetlands and environmental codes in the U.S. Simply put you cannot do anything — not clear, cut, fill, dump (not even leaves, grass clippings or dirt), alter, grade, landscape or build upon — any wetland resource area without a permit from your local town Conservation

Can you build in a wetland buffer?

In most cases, you cannot build within wetlands or streams, or their buffers , without getting a permit from the city or county. To comply with local, state, and federal regulations, you will need to know the location of stream or wetland boundaries and their buffer widths before you can build .

What is a wetlands buffer zone?

A wetland buffer is a setback area between a stream, river, or wetland and any upland development. It maintains the natural vegetation cover along the waterway, which is an essential part of the aquatic ecosystem. Between 25 and 50 feet, the City has a Limited Cut Area.

Can you cut down trees in wetlands?

You can maintain lawfully existing (grand- fathered or permitted) structures, lawns and landscapes, and you can do some limited vista pruning of trees , but cutting of whole trees , clearing understory, construction, earth disturbing activities, or drainage altering activities require a permit.

Can I fill in wetlands on my property?

You can build on wetlands as long as they’re not jurisdictional, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be fighting an uphill battle. When wetlands are filled , the water that makes them wet has to go somewhere. If you’re building on these lands, you have to consider that your home or business may be damaged by this water.

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How close can you build to wetlands in Massachusetts?

Any project within 100 feet of wetland or 200 feet of a perennial stream requires a wetland permit. All projects within the 100-year floodplain and endangered species habitat are required to obtain permits too.

Is it bad to have wetlands on your property?

Technically speaking, yes, wetlands hold value. That said, if the property contains land that is suitable for building, there are some great benefits to buying property with wetlands . Privacy. Many people find wetlands to be beneficial because they offer privacy.

Do wetlands decrease property value?

Looking at house sales data from 1988 through 2005, the hedonic technique is used to estimate the effect of wetlands regulations on single-family home prices and finds that having wetlands on a property decreases its value by 4 percent relative to non-regulated properties .

Is it safe to live near wetlands?

Living near a wetland does not increase your home’s risk at flooding—in fact, because wetlands function as natural sponges that trap and slowly release surface water, rain, snowmelt, groundwater, and flood waters, they actually help control flooding.

Can you build a house in wetlands?

Yes. It is always recommended to avoid constructing in wetlands and build elsewhere if possible. Some construction projects may fail because they are built in areas that are naturally prone to wetness. Also, if you avoid impacting wetlands , no permit is required.

How close to wetlands can you build?

Buffer zones, the land within 100 feet of wetlands , are critical in maintaining health and productivity of wetlands . Laws also regulate work within 200 feet of a stream.

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How do wetlands make money?

Some landowners can earn additional money through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, which covers all restoration costs and gives landowners in some states a yearly rental payment. Landowners may also earn money by leasing their wetlands to hunters.

What do you do with wetlands on your property?

By slowing releasing water, wetlands help prevent erosion. They also filter the water, providing clean water that is free of chemicals and excess sediments. Animals are important assets to wetlands , as well. All species rely on wetlands for breeding, feeding, and housing.

Can you dig a pond in a wetland?

A. Wetlands are complex ecological resources that provide many benefits to the environment, such as nutrient uptake, wildlife habitat, floodwater retention and groundwater recharge. Attempts to create a pond in one of the drier wetlands can disrupt those functions, or have undesired impacts downstream.

Can you plant trees in wetlands?

Some trees near water or that grow in standing water will die. But, if you choose wisely, you can find trees that not only grow in wet, swampy area, but will thrive and may even help correct the poor drainage in that area. Let’s look at how to choose wet soil trees and some suggestions for trees to plant in wet areas.

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