Wetlands can be amazing sights to see. Marshes, bogs, fens and swamps are all types of wetlands. Read more about the many types of wetlands HERE. Wetlands maybe be filled with trees, grasses, shrubs or moss forming thick layers of peat. Wetlands act like sponges by holding flood waters and keeping rivers at normal levels. Wetlands filter and purify water as it flows through the wetland system. Plants found in wetlands help control water erosion. Read more about their many functions HERE. Freshwater wetlands may stay wet all year long, or the water may evaporate during the dry season.
The US EPA has recognized the importance of wetlands to our ecosystem and has put regulations and permitting in place to protect them.
LAWS & REGULATIONS:
There are a number of federal statutes passed by Congress and signed into law by the President that are central to the Office of Water’s mission. In addition, Congress authorizes EPA and other federal agencies to write rules and regulations that explain the critical details necessary to implement environmental laws.
EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalized the Clean Water Rule to protect the streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources. The Clean Water Rule ensures that waters protected under the Clean Water Act are more precisely defined, more predictably determined, and easier for businesses and industry to understand.
Corps permits are necessary for any work, including construction and dredging, in the Nation's navigable waters. During the permit process, the Corps considers the views of other Federal, state and local agencies, interest groups, and the general public. This review allows for fair and equitable decisions that allow reasonable use of private property, infrastructure development, and growth of the economy, while offsetting the authorized impacts to the waters of the US.
Wetlands and streams provide important environmental functions including protecting and improving water quality and providing habitat to fish and wildlife. Successful compensatory mitigation projects will replace environmental functions that are lost as a result of permitted activities.
about the wetlands in your area?
Visit this Wetland Mapper to learn more!