Site Development

Preparing a Vision for Your Project
Developing a Marketing Plan
Developing a Proforma

Sources of Project Financing
Project Phases

Wetland Delineation & Summary Report
Environmental Site Assessments

Permit Acquisition Process
Project Delivery Systems

Data Checklist 

Wetland Delineation and Summary Report

Wetlands are generally described as areas saturated or covered with water all or part of the year and which support certain species of vegetation. Wetland areas are regulated by the Federal government through Section 404 provisions of the Clean Water Act. In New Hampshire, the alteration of wetland areas have been regulated since 1967. The State of New Hampshire Wetlands Bureau has been given approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) to administer projects impacting three acres of wetlands or less, under the New Hampshire Programmatic General Permit. Further information regarding the wetland permit process is found in our Permit Acquisition Process section of the Site Development Information Center. This section will discuss the activities that occur to identify whether wetlands may exist on your parcel.

To ascertain whether your project will impact wetland areas, one first needs to know whether your parcel indeed has wetland areas, and if they exist, you need to know precisely where they are located. A wetland delineation study to define the location of wetland area(s) thus needs to be initiated.

The very first task involves the collection of any existing data that may be available. Such data might include a review and interpretation of National Wetland Inventory maps, aerial photos and a review of existing soil and wetland mapping and floodplain delineation information which is normally available at a Soil Conservation Service office near your project. This mapping would generally locate where areas of wetlands might likely be found in your area. Each city and town also has generalized wetland mapping for your review. An initial screening level sitewalk may also be made by a wetland scientist who is trained in wetland habitats, to identify whether wetlands appear to be present on the project site.

If wetland areas are suspected to be present, a thorough wetland delineation study needs to be undertaken. It is only through detailed in-field work that wetland areas can be adequately defined in accordance with state and federal criteria. Such delineations are completed by a wetland scientist.

Wetland delineation must be conducted in accordance with the current Federal Manual for Identifying and Delineating Jurisdictional Wetlands. The delineation may include transects that provide a cross section of soil types and vegetative community from upland to wetlands. The New Hampshire Wetlands Board classifies areas of impact as minimum (<3,000 sq.ft.), minor (3,000 to 20,000 sq.ft.), or major (>20,000 sq.ft.). All major and minor impact projects are reviewed by the US Army Corps of Engineers and NH Wetlands Bureau. Some projects may require public hearings on proposed projects and impacts.

To delineate the wetlands, the wetland scientist places flagging at the boundary of theses areas. Once the wetlands have been identified, the land surveyor needs to provide precise location information regarding the flagged areas. This data is then shown on an existing conditions topographic site plan which is made a part of the project plans. Once the wetland areas have been graphically shown, site design layout activities can be initiated. The site engineer will locate and layout your site improvements such that impacts to the wetland areas are either avoided or minimized.

A written report of findings is then prepared that shows the results of the delineation and includes a description of the various types and value of the identified wetlands.

Should the project impact wetland areas, permits will be needed from federal, state and local agencies and parties. Further information regarding the wetland permit process is found in our Permit Acquisition Process section of our Site Development Information Center.


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