Wetlands and Waterways Protection Program

Wetlands provide imp​ortant socio-economic be​​​nefits and ecosystem services such as storing and conveying flood waters, recharging groundwater, improving water quality by filtering and storing nutrients, and providing shoreline protection and critical habitat f​or a multitude of plant and animal species. The Maryland Department of the Environment’s Wetlands and Wa​terways Protection Program protects Maryland wetlands and waterways from loss and degradation. This protection is achieved through the regulation of the draining, dredging and filling of tidal and nontidal wetlands, the nontidal wetland buffer and waterways, including the nontidal​ 100-year floodplain through a permitting or authorization process implemented in close coordination with the federal government (specifically, the Army Corps of Engineers).

While there are ​some exemptions from permitting requirements for certain activities, permits or letters of authorization from the State are generally required if a property owner plans to undertake an activity that results in the draining of a wetland or the addition of fill materials to a State regulated wetland or waterway. Examples of activities which require permits from the Wetlands and Waterways Protection Program include building a new pier, adding a platform or boat lift to an existing pier, dredging a boat slip, putting in a bulkhead, filling in a nontidal wetland or buffer for the construction of a structure such as a shed or the expansion or creation of a patio or driveway, and, creating a stream crossing or putting a utility pipeline under a stream.

The Wetlands and Waterways Protection Program also provides Maryland-regulated floodplain and FEMA Floodplain information to the public. With climate change​ increasing precipitation, sea level rise and flooding in Maryland, protecting and restoring wetlands, waterways, and their buffers will be critical to securing a resilient future for Maryland’s citizens and ecosystems. To learn more about MDE's Water and Science Administration’s detailed climate adaptation goals and strategies please visit the WSA Climate Change site​​.


Tropical Storm/Hurricane​​​ Preparedness

Guidance for Emergency Repairs for Damage Resulting from any Major Named Storm/High Tide Event​ (v. May 2024)

Guidance for Emergency Repairs - general​​ (​v. September 2023) ​​- To facilitate emergency ​actions/repairs which impact State-regulated water resources, the Maryland Department of the Environment (“MDE” or “the Department”) highlights these established procedures for conducting emergency repairs under COMAR (D) Construction on Nontidal Waters and Floodplains, Nontidal Wetlands, COMAR 26.24 Tidal Wetlands, and COMAR State Tidal Wetland Licensing Procedures.

Hurricane and Tropical Storm Preparedness tips are also available from the MDE home page.​






Frequently Asked Questions

State Application, Forms and Related Information

​​Marine Contractors Licensing Board (MCLB) and other ​Environmental Boards information

Water Quality Certifications (WQCs)


Past Announcements

Public Notices

  • The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) has submitted a Water Quality Certification request and a tidal wetlands application for the demolition of the stable standing structures comprising the remaining Francis Scott Key Bridge in preparation for bridge reconstruction. ​ A public informational hearing has been scheduled for the project on Thursday, August 1, 2024, at the Baltimore County Public Library, North Point Branch, located at 1716 Merritt Blvd., Dundalk, MD 21222. A poster session will be held from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM; the informational hearing will begin at 5:30 PM and end no later than 7:30 PM.  Written comments will be accepted until August 15, 2024. ​

    Updates or additional information will be available on the MDE Project page​​. Please contact Matthew Wallach at matthew.wallach@maryland.gov or 410-207-0893​ with any questions. ​

  • 15-NT-0395/2001561897  Route 301 Industrial CPI LTD Partnership-Stephens Crossing - Impact Plates
  • ​Public Informational Hearing 23-NT-3277/202361471) D.R.Horton, Summervale Development Project. A Public Informational Hearing was held on April 30, 2024. A video recording of the hearing is available for download here : MDE Summervale Public Hearing​ (MP4 format).

  • Public Notice 23-NT-0059/202360347 GGCAL WALDORF HOLDING LLC and CHARLES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS, Related project documents are available on MDE's Waldorf Station project information page available HERE​​.
    A public informational hearing will be held on May 30, 2024 in the Commissioners Meeting Room/Auditorium within the Charles County Government Building located at 200 Baltimore Street, La Plata, Maryland 20646. Project plans will be available for review from 6:30 - 7:00 PM and the public informational hearing will start at 7:00 PM and end no later than 9:00 PM. Written comments and requests to be included on the interested persons list may be sent by June 13, 2024.

  • Public Notice 23-NT-3212/202361400/Oakdale Investments, Inc.,/Westridge - A virtual public informational hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 15, 2024. The hearing will start promptly at 7:00 PM. The virtual public informational hearing can be joined online at meet.google.com/wty-wdmo-nuc​ or you may join by telephone at 1-929-329-2001 and when prompted enter PIN 908 493 847# .​

  • ​Public Notice 23-WL-0971/202361518/MARYLAND PORT ADMINISTRATION - A public information hearing is scheduled for the referenced project on April 18, 2024. The hearing will begin at 6:00 PM. The public information hearing will be held at the Conference Room at the MPA Cox Creek DMCF Operations Building, 1000 Kembo Road, Curtis Bay, MD 21226. Written comments will be accepted until May 2, 2024.

  • Public Notice 23-WL-0813/202361274/24-WQC-0004/US WIND INC, C/O JEFFREY GRYBOWSKI, Related project documents are available on MDE's US WIND INC. project information page available HERE​. A public information hearing is scheduled for the referenced project on March 25, 2024. The hearing will begin at 6:00 PM and end no later than 8:00 PM with a poster session from 5:30 PM until 6:00 PM. The public information hearing will be held at Wor Wic Community College, 32000 Campus Drive, Salisbury, Maryland  21804 in the Fulton-Owen ​​​Guerrieri Hall. Written comments will be accepted unt​il April 9, 2024 June 7, 2024. Note: a previous public notice was issued for a hearing on Feb 1. and was published in error and redacted. The only scheduled hearing is as noted above and will occur on March 25, 2024.
  • Public Comment Period  Extended until January 30, 2024 for Green Bloom MV Development LLC.  (22-NT-3292/202262014) Montgomery County  For comments or questions please contact Melissa Knapp​ or call​​​ 410-537-3816                                ​ ​​

  • ​​​​Withdrawal of WQC Request for Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail (BWRR) Superconducting Magnetic Levitation (SCMAGLEV) Project (23-WQC-0007/202061983)- The request for a Water Quality Certification (WQC) was withdrawn on December 27, 2023 by BWRR. The withdrawal request letter​, hearing/notice information​, and related project documents are available on the SCMAGLEV project information page. ​​​​

  • Baltimore County DPW, Gunpowder SPS to White Marsh SPS (project #22-NT-0255/202261744)​​​​- ​​​​A Virtual Public Informational Hearing was hel​d on June 8, 2023. A video recording of the hearing is available at ​: ​ BA DPW White Marsh Run (MP4 format) and the project description is available: BA DPW White Marsh Run 02_NT_0255 Project Description (PDF).


Interested in conducting a wetland restoration or other conservation activity on your land?

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