What are Wetlands?
Wetlands are one of the most intensely regulated natural features affecting land use. The cumulative effect of wetlands 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 "wetlands" 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...
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 non-wetlands.
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.
How can MDRA help?
Our technical staff has been involved with wetlands/watercourses and related issues for more than 30 years, performing local, State and Federal wetlands and watercourses delineations, and preparing a variety of assessments and reports on wetlands, watercourses, associated habit and species, and other related aspects.
MDRA provides the following services:
We can help protect wetlands while improving project efficiency and economics by contacting MDRA.