What is the Wetlands Protection Act?

Massachusetts was the first state to adopt a statewide wetlands protection law and ours is among the strongest. The Wetlands Protection Act, as adopted in 1972, has been amended and expanded almost every year, most recently by the 1996 Rivers Protection Act. In Massachusetts, unlike in most other states, communities rather than state agencies have primary authority over wetlands protection, through the Act and through local laws. Your Sherborn Conservation Commission has primary permit responsibility for work conducted in wetlands and their associated buffer zones.

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1. What does the Conservation Commission do?
2. What is the Wetlands Protection Act?
3. Why should my project be reviewed by the Conservation Commission?
4. How do I know if there is a wetland on my property?
5. How will the presence of a wetland affect the home I’m building or the landscaping I’m planning?
6. Does the Conservation Commission ever permit construction within 100 feet of wetland?
7. My neighbor’s house is easily within 50 feet of a wetland. Why did the town permit this?
8. What is a vernal pool and why is it special?
9. What can I do to protect the wetlands in my neighborhood?