Why are wetlands protected?

Wetlands perform important functions including pollution abatement, protection of groundwater (which is the source of many Dracut residents' drinking water), flood control, storm damage prevention as well as providing habitat for plants, invertebrates, fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and other wildlife.

Under the he Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (M.G.L. Chapter 131, § 40), no one may "remove, fill, dredge, or alter" any wetland, floodplain, bank, land under a water body, land within 100 feet of a wetland, or land within 200 feet of a perennial stream or river, without a permit from the local Conservation Commission".

Show All Answers

1. What is a wetland?
2. What is a wetland buffer zone?
3. What is the difference between an intermittent stream and perennial stream?
4. What is a vernal pool?
5. Why are wetlands protected?
6. What activities in a wetland or buffer zone require a permit?
7. What are the different types of wetlands permitting forms and when are they used?
8. I live near a mushy area where there are some ferns growing, is this a wetland?
9. I live lakeside and I’m planning a retaining wall; do I need to file with the Conservation Commission?
10. I live on a lake and I would like to put up a dock; do I need a permit?
11. I live near a stream and I’d like to put a new deck on the back of my house. Do I need to file for a permit?
12. I live near a wetland and I’d like to cut down some trees near my house; do I need to file?
13. I see a depression filled with water on my property every spring; if I wanted to complete a project in or near this location, do I need to notify the Conservation Commission?
14. I’ve hired a contractor to do some excavation on my property and it’s near a marshy area; should I contact the Conservation Commission?
15. I suspect work is being done in a wetland or buffer zone without a permit, what should I do?
16. How do I contact the Conservation Commission?