Why should my project be reviewed by the Conservation Commission?

Marshes, streams, and ponds aren't the only wetlands governed by the law. Some wetland resources lack standing water. Wetlands are any lands where the soil is saturated for a significant portion of the growing season. Just because water pools occasionally in the early spring does not automatically make an area a wetland. Conversely, an area may be a wetland even if there is never standing water there. Even if a project isn't in a wetland, a project near a wetland can degrade that wetland by increasing siltation and runoff. For this reason, the Commission has jurisdiction over all work, including landscaping and brush-cutting, in any wetland resource area and within 100 feet of a wetland.

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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?