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UPDATE: It is now past the growing season and wetland characteristics are difficult to see, especially when under snow.  Verification of wetland boundaries will need to take place in the spring.

Wildlife Viewing in the Clyde River Wetland Complex


Welcome to the
Wetlands Program

The Vermont Wetlands Program is responsible for identifying and protecting wetlands and the functions and values they provide by the implementation and informal interpretation of the Vermont Wetland Rules. Activities to achieve these goals include education, project review, and enforcement.

Most wetlands inquiries can be answered by using the

VT Wetlands Guidance Table below:

  1. Choose the applicable category(ies).
  2. Scroll down the VT Wetlands Guidance column to a topic you are  interested in.
  3. Click the links in Where to Find It.

If you cannot find an answer to your question in the table please CONTACT US by clicking on the underlined link.



VT Wetlands Guidance

Summary of Guidance

Where to Find It


Wetland Basics

The associated links provide a description of wetland characteristics; a Vermont wetland photo gallery; the basics of the VT Wetlands Program; and a description of the three indicators of wetland presence and the common wetland types in Vermont.

What is a Wetland?

VT Wetlands Photo Gallery

VT Wetlands Program 101

Identification & Delineation

Do I Have a Wetland?


Land-Owners Guide to Wetlands

A list of signs that indicate you may have a wetland and what steps to take if you do.

Landowner’s Guide to Wetlands

Using the Wetlands Inventory Map to Identify Wetlands

A “how-to” on using the VT Wetlands Inventory Map to identify wetlands with mapping tools and a link to the VT Wetlands Inventory Map.

Wetlands Inventory Map

Wetlands Inventory Map Tutorial

Wetland Consultant List A list of qualified wetlands scientists that can conduct a wetland delineation in Vermont.

Wetland Consultant List


Wetland Avoidance & Minimization Techniques


Site Design for Wetland Protection

A Rhode Island guidance document that illustrates how wetlands can be avoided by smart site design. Vermont wetland regulations still apply.

Rhode Island Wetland BMP Manual

Low-Impact Design and Stormwater Management Links to low-impact design and storm water management techniques, which are an important part of protecting wetlands and water quality.

Green Infrastructure: Planning & Policy

Green Infrastructure Systems & Functions

Low-Impact Development Guide

Best Management Practices

(BMPs) and

Allowed Uses


Allowed Uses

A link to the allowed uses (Section 6) of the VT Wetland Rules.

Wetland Rules Allowed Uses

Ponds, Docks and Boardwalks VT Wetlands Program guidance on allowed uses associated with pond maintenance, docks and boardwalks.

Pond Maintenance

Docks and Boardwalks

Solar Power Our new guidance document for solar developer and landowners. Solar Power Guidance

VT Wetlands Program guidance on allowed uses associated utilities.

Utility Maintenance

Overhead Utility Installation

Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control

Guidance documents that provide descriptions and uses for manmade wetlands and Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control (EPSC) when working in areas sensitive to erosion. *Natural wetlands should never be used for stormwater or wastewater treatment.

Stormwater Webpage

Stormwater Resources

EPSC Plan Checklist

EPSC in Winter

VT WPSC Field Guide


The Vermont Association of Conservation Districts website provides infomation about Accepted Agricultural Practices (AAP) and agricultural BMPs. The APPs and BMPs are standards designed to reduce non-point source pollutant discharges through implementation of improved farming techniques.

Ditch Maintenance is a guidance document which outlines the best management practices for ditch maintenence in agricultural and residential areas.

Accepted Agricultural Practices

Ditch Maintenence

Silviculture and Logging

VT Wetlands Program guidance on silviculture as an allowed use based on the Vermont Wetland Rules.

A link to Acceptable Management Practices for Maintaining Water Quality on Logging Jobs in Vermont (AMP's). The AMP's are scientifically proven methods for loggers and landowners to follow for maintaining water quality and minimizing erosion.


VT Fish and Wildlife guidance on managing deer wintering areas. This document is referred to in the silviculture allowed uses section of the Vermont Wetland Rules.

VT Wetlands Program Silviculture Guidance

Acceptable Management Practices for Maintaining Water Quality on Logging Jobs in Vermont (AMP's)

Silvicuture and Deer Wintering Areas

Vernal Pools U.S. Army Corps of Engineers vernal pool information and guidance for determining adequate buffers for the protection of vernal pool species.

ACOE Vernal Pool Information and Buffer Guidance



Pamphlets and links that describe why beavers are an important part of the wetland ecosystem and how to manage them responsibly.

Beaver Natural History

Beaver Fact Sheet

Beaver BMPs Pamphlet

BMP for Human-Beaver Conflict



Wetland Functions and Values

A link to the 10 functions and values the VT Wetlands Program uses to evaluate VT wetlands and their importance to public and ecosystem health. The evaluation sheet is used by wetland professionals for a preliminary assessment of wetland functions and values.

Wetlands Functions and Values

Function and Values Evaluation Form

Wetland Buffers "Buffer Zones and Beyond" is a report that addresses the buffer zone in terms of wildlife habitat use. "Wetland Buffers: Use and Effectiveness" is a report detailing the use of specific wildlife species within a certain distance of the wetland edge in the buffer zone.

Buffer Zones and Beyond

Wetland Buffers: Use and Effectiveness

Wetland Training Opportunities

The Vermont Education and Outreach page connects interested parties to training opportunities in Vermont and New England.

The Amphibian Monitoring Training videos were created by the North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier for citizen scientist, curious landowners, and professionals to track amphibian movement and breeding patterns in Vermont.

VT Education and Outreach

Amphibian Monitoring Training Videos

Flow Blog A link to the offical bog of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation's Watershed Management Division. This is where to find the latest news and science of Vermont's rivers, lakes, wetlands, and watersheds. Flow Blog

Vernal Pools & Amphibian Breeding Habitat

The Vermont Vernal Pools Group provides Vermonters updates on migration and breeding locations and times. This can be a useful tool for consultants and landowners. Please post your observations to:

Vernal pools is a link to the VT definition of vernal pools, their importance, and how to identify them.

The VT Herp Atlas shows the distribution of reptiles and amphibians such as frogs and salamanders thoughout the State of VT and the VT Vernal Pool Mapping Project offers the public an opportunity to become involved in mapping vernal pools.

The Amphibian Monitoring Training video is a link to learn about locating and identifying areas for amphibian migration during the spring months.

Also find an educational article on fairy shrimp, a small aquatic organism found in vernal pools.

Vermont Vernal Pools Group

Vernal Pools

VT Vernal Pool Study

VT Herp Atlas

VT Vernal Pool Mapping Project

Amphibian Monitoring Training Videos

Fairy Shrimp Article


Northeastern Amphibian

Links for exploring the library of information about amphibian breeding habitats from states in the Northeast. The links also include protocols used to define and identify amphibian breeding habitats and guidance for establising buffers to protect these sensitive habitats.



Rhode Island

New York

New Hampshire

Invasive Wetland Plant Species Fact sheets and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers resources for invasive plant species that can be found in wetlands and how to manage them.

Common Reed

Purple Loosestrife

Yellow Flag Iris

Japanese Stilt Grass

Glossy Buckthorn

European Alder

Japanese Knotweed

ACOE Invasive Species Info

Conservation   & Restoration 

Local Wetland Initiatives

Contact the Watershed Coordinator in your district to recommend an initiative and find out what initiatives may be happening.

Tactical Basin Planning

Contact Page

Native Plant Resources A list of nurseries that provide native plant species for wetland restoration and enhancement activities. Native Plant Providers
Wetland Restoration Links to EPA wetland restoration information; a document on Wetland Restoration, Creation and Enhancement from the US EPA and NOAA; Wisconsin's Wetland Association website on restoring wetlands; and Michigan's Department of Natural Resources page on wetland restoration techniques. All wetland restoration projects should be reviewed by the Vermont Wetlands Office before restoration begins.

River Corridor and Wetland Restoration

Wetland Restoration, Creation, and Enhancement

Restoring Wetlands

Wetland Restoration Techniques

Funding Opportunities The Five Star Restoration Program brings together students, conservation corps, other youth groups, citizen groups, corporations, landowners and government agencies to provide environmental education and training through projects that restore wetlands and streams. 5 Star Restoration Program
Conservation Reserve Program The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a land conservation program administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). The long-term goal of the program is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. Conservation Reserve Program Website
Wetland Reserve Easement The Natural Resource Conservation Service Wetlands Reserve Easement (WRE) is a voluntary program that provides an opportunity for landowners to receive financial assistance to enhance wetlands in exchange for retiring marginal land from agricultural. WRE provides technical and financial assistance to eligible landowners to address wetland, wildlife habitat, soil, water, and related natural resource concerns on private lands in an environmentally beneficial and cost-effective manner. 

Wetland Reserve Easement

WRE Factsheet

Ecosytem Restoration Program

The Ecosystem Restoration Program provides leadership, financial resources, technical and educational assistance, and a sustained commitment to ensure that Vermont achieves and maintains high water quality standards, healthy and naturally stable rivers, well functioning wetlands, floodplains, and river corridors that can protect against flood impacts, and clean and well-buffered lakes.

Ecosytem Restoration Program
VT Grant Opportunities A list of Vermont Water Quality grant opportunities. Water Quality Grants


VT Wetland Rules

The VT Wetland Rules were created to protect significant wetlands and describe VTANR’s regulatory oversight of wetlands including: identification of wetlands, wetland exemptions, wetland classification, designation of buffer zones, functional criteria, allowed uses, mapping, wetlands determinations, rulemaking and permits.

Vermont Wetland Rules

Do I Need a Wetland Permit? Most activities proposed within 50-ft of a wetland require a permit. If you are unsure if your project requires a permit, contact your district ecologist and review the VT Wetland Rules. Avoidance and minimization must be practiced before a project can be considered for a permit. The associated links help to determine if a project requires a permit.

Landowner’s Guide to Wetlands

Vermont Wetland Rules

District Map & Contacts


The VT Wetlands Program issues two types of permits: an individual permit and a general permit. Read the General Permit in order to decide if your project will qualify. Please read the directions before filling out the application and use the Permit Application Checklist to help ensure that your application is complete. The checklist is not intended for large-scale projects that may need additional information.

If you are proposing activity in more than one wetland use the multiple wetland application table.

Also view permits that are currently on public notice and search past wetland permits.

General Permit

General Permit Application

Individual Permit Application

Multiple Wetland Application Table

2015 Wetland Permit Fees

Permit Application Checklist

Individual Permit instructions

Permits on Public Notice


Wetland Violations

Wetlands violations should be reported to the enforcement division. They may be referred to a Wetlands Staff after initial review.

Report a Violation

Wastewater Design and Wetlands A guidance document for wastewater designers that provides project review information, jurisdictional consideration, wetland delineation criteria, and common wetland vegetation. VT Wetlands Program Guidance for Wastewater Designers
Wetland Determination The procedure that VT Wetlands Staff use to determine if a wetland is Class II or Class III. VT Wetland Determination Process

Act 250 Review Guidelines

Some projects require Act 250 review and all Act 250 projects require wetlands review. Learn what type of activities qualify for an Act 250 permit and contact your permit specialist to find out what other permits you may need.

Act 250

Find Your Permit Specialist

Riparian Buffer Guidelines

Water Quality Certification

A small number of wetland projects require water quality certifications. If you are involved in an activity that is subject to a Federal permit or license and may result in a discharge to waters of the United States, you may need a Water Quality Certification.

Water Quality Certification Program

VTDEC Contact Megan McIntyre

Federal Wetland Regulations & Class III Wetlands

The Army Corp of Engineers also regulates activities in wetlands. Visit the ACOE website or contact the ACOE representative in your area to find out if you need a permit or project review.

ACOE Website

ACOE General Permit

ACOE Contact

Town Wetland Responsibilities

Towns have adopted different zoning to protect water resources. Contact your town to see if they have additional wetland regulations to consider.

VT League of Cities and Towns

Wetland Functions and Values
Quick Links
What's New?
Jurisdictional Wetlands (Class I & II)

The following wetlands are presumed to provide significant functions and values, and so are subject to the Vermont Wetland Rules:

~Any wetland on the VSWI map

~Any wetland contiguous or connected to the VSWI mapped wetland

~Any wetland that is the same type and size as what is on the VSWI maps (1/2 acre or larger)

~Wetlands over or under a half acre that are:

  • adjacent to a stream, lake, pond, or river
  • vernal pools
  • special and unique wetlands like bogs or fens
  • headwaters above 2500 feet elevation
  • adjacent to impaired waters

VT DEC Watershed Management Division 1 National Life Drive, Main 2  Montpelier, VT  05620-3522  Tele: 802-828-1535   Fax: 802-828-1544


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