Vernal pools are water-holding depressions free of fish that usually appear in the spring after snowmelt, however, some fill with water in the fall during rain events and persist through the winter into the spring. While many vernal pools dry up during the summer, some are semi-permanent and do not dry every year. Vernal pools are important habitats for many species of wildlife, including salamanders, frogs, turtles, and toads, some of which are totally dependent on vernal pools for their survival. Because of their sensitive nature and important ecological functions, vernal pools come under special consideration in both state and local bylaw wetlands regulations.
Certified and non-certified vernal pools and their 100-foot buffer zone are regulated in Dracut and any work will need to come before the Conservation Commission for permitting before it can begin.