The Wetlands Protection Act was enacted to safeguard wetlands, associated Resource Areas, and floodplains from overdevelopment. The Wetlands Act identifies eight reasons why wetlands should be protected including: Flood Control, Storm Damage, Prevention of Pollution, Public or Private Water Supply, Groundwater, Fisheries, Shellfish, and Wildlife Habitat. The Wetlands Act does not prohibit activities within wetland Resource Areas, but each Resource Area is presumed to be significant to one or more of the particular interests mentioned above. This presumption of significance may be overcome by good evidence supplied by the applicant. Resource Areas are protected in the regulations by performance standards. Performance Standards are environmental criteria that must be met to minimize the impact of the project on the Resource Areas. If the standards can be met, or if the presumption of significance can be overcome, the proposed project can be approved.
Appears in: Planning & Development FAQs