Although wetlands are often wet, wetlands are not always wet year-round. In fact, some of the most important wetlands, are only seasonally wet. Wetlands provide some of the most diverse and productive habitats for fish and wildlife. Wetlands also protect public health by acting as sponges to absorb harmful pollutants and protect water quality. Flood control, wildlife habitat, recreational and economic benefits, and erosion control are all important functions and values of wetlands.
The true importance of wetlands is felt most at the local level. When loss of wetlands occurs, landowners are keen to notice an increase of flooding, polluted streams and lakes, loss of wildlife habitat, and/or loss of aesthetic beauty. Therefore, it is critical for wetland protection to begin at the local level.
In order to fully protect these precious places, professional guidance should always be sought when delineating wetlands, since vegetation, soils, and hydrology are all determining factors in wetlands. Sometimes, landowners do not realize a site is a wetland until after they have violated federal or state law. Many wetlands in Vermont are not mapped.
To learn more about wetlands, please visit the sites below.
Water Quality Division Wetland Section - The Vermont Wetlands Section identifies significant wetlands, and protects wetland functions and values through education, project review, and enforcement.
EPA Wetlands - EPA Wetlands resource information that addresses questions such as "what are wetlands" and "Why preserve wetlands".
State of Vermont Wetlands Regulations - In addition to Federal Wetlands regulations, Vermont has its own wetlands laws.
US Army Core of Engineers Wetlands Jurisdiction - Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 USC § 1344) establishes the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to regulate the discharge of dredged and fill material, and mechanized landclearing in waters of the United States, including wetlands. For more information, use the link below.