Matthew D. Rudikoff Associates - Planning, Environment, Development
Long Dock Beacon

Wetland Delineation and Mitigation Design

What are Wetlands?

Wetlands are one of the most intensely regulated natural features affecting land use. The cumulative effect of wetland losses on wildlife and water resources has prompted adoption of a national "no-net-loss" wetlands policy and more stringent state and local regulation of wetlands. To most of us the concept of "wetland" is limited to images of wet places vegetated by thick reeds or bushes and trees, with green scum on the surface and lots of mosquitoes.

While this image of a wetland is accurate, did you know that...
-there are more than 40 different kinds of wetlands in New York State.
-some wet areas may not meet established wetland criteria while other "dry" areas will meet these standards.
-some areas that contain wetland plants may not qualify as wetlands.

Wetlands possess three essential features:
Hydrophytic Vegetation... plant life growing in soils that are periodically low in oxygen as a result of excessive water content. Of the nearly 7,000 plants reported to grow in wetlands, about 27% of them occur on a reliable basis in wetlands. Most plants that grow in wetlands also grow in nonwetlands.

Hydric Soils... soils that are saturated with water long enough during the growing season to develop a low oxygen condition in their upper section. The time required to create this condition may be as brief as 7 days during the growing season. Hydric soils are identified on the basis of such features as texture, extent of organic matter and color patterns.

Wetland Hydrology... the presence of water sufficient to create low oxygen conditions. Many factors affect the wetness of an area. While wetland hydrology is the "driving force" that sets the stage for the establishment of wetland soils and wetland plant communities, it is often the most difficult feature to verify in the field.

How may wetlands affect development?

Wetlands regulations at federal, state and local levels pose significant limitations to land use planning and development that cannot be ignored.

- Application procedures require an accurate delineation and documentation of all wetlands on development sites.

- Preparation of alternative plans to avoid, minimize and mitigate development impacts on wetlands has become a standard requirement.

- Obtaining permits for certain activities in or close to wetlands is a complex, expensive and time-consuming process.

- Failure to comply with wetland regulations can result in court action, stop work orders, fines and enforced restoration of wetlands.

How can MDRA help?

Our technical staff has been involved with wetlands and related issues for more than 20 years, performing local, state and federal wetland delineations, and preparing a variety of assessments and reports on wetlands and related topics.

We provide the following services to public and private agencies:

- Delineate and inventory wetlands and other aquatic resources
- Assist in the design of site plans that work with wetlands to integrate and enhance the value of aquatic resources
- Streamline wetland and stream protection permit procedures for residential and non-residential proposals
- Interact with clients and regulatory agencies on a variety of wetland issues
- Clarify overlapping governmental regulations
- Confirm the accuracy of wetland mapping and delineations according to local, state and federal standards
- Review and evaluate wetland related issues contained in SEQR documents

MDRA prepares...

- Local, state and federal wetland delineations, related reports and wetland permit applications
- Aquatic resources management plans
- Wetlands ordinances
- Biological inventories of wetlands, surface waters and terrestrial habitats
- Wildlife management plans
- Assessments of wetland functions
- Wetland and surface water quality analyses
- Wetland restoration and creation plans
- Pond design and management plans
- Stream bank protection and restoration plans

Protect wetlands while improving project efficiency and economics by contacting MDRA.

Copyright © 2010 Matthew D. Rudikoff Associates, Inc., all rights reserved.

Write to us to explore the possibilities.

MDRA is known for its steadfast adherence to ecologic and natural resource responsibility...scientific proficiency and procedural thoroughness...public participation in important community decisions...and for inventiveness of our working and collaborative solutions...often in the midst of contentious project review dynamics. The breadth and depth of our services will likely serve you well. We provide planning solutions to public and private entities, big and small. For a few examples of how we can help you, please visit our projects page to view recent client work.