Wetlands provide important socio-economic benefits 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 for a multitude of plant and animal species. The Maryland Department of the Environment’s Wetlands and Waterways 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 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 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.
NEWS AND IMPORTANT UPDATES:
Expedited Pier License – Paperwork and Process Now Active - Expedited review and License issuance for fixed private piers and associated structures such as platforms, boat hoists or lifts, mooring piles, and osprey poles that meet the criteria under COMAR 26.24.04.02A. Project location must have no potential effects to sensitive species or cultural resources.
Shoreline Stabilization Maps for Anne Arundel, Calvert, Dorchester, & Talbot Counties
April 26th, 2022 Virtual Marine Contractor & Stakeholder Workshop Presentation
Annual Marsh Monitoring Report template
New Guidance for Stream Restoration in Stream/Wetland Complexes
Wetlands and Climate Change
Maryland State Programmatic General Permit-6 MDSPGP-6 (effective October 1, 2021) from the
Army Corps of Engineers website
Instructions for Permittee transitional coverage from MDSPGP-5 to MDSPGP-6 (PDF)
MDSPGP-6 General Conditions and Activity-Specific Conditions
Guidance for Emergency Repairs for Damage Resulting from the October 30, 2021 Storm/High Tide Event (guidance issued November 3, 2021)
Guidance for Emergency Repairs (general) - 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 26.17.04.06 (D) Construction on Nontidal Waters and Floodplains, 26.23.02.08 Nontidal Wetlands, COMAR 26.24 Tidal Wetlands, and COMAR 23.02.04.05C State Tidal Wetland Licensing Procedures.
Board of Public Works Regulation Update (PDF)
Residential Dredging Fact Sheet
Tier II Review: Nontidal Wetlands and Waterway Construction
State Application, Forms and Related Information
Frequently Asked Questions
MdTA I-95/Belvidere Road Interchange Project - Nontidal Wetlands and Waterways Permit No. 20-NT-0180/202061123 and Water Quality Certification 21-WQC-0327
DRG/WSSI Umbrella Mitigation Banking Instrument and Addendum #1 Lake Elkhorn Stream Mitigation Site - Public Comment Period Extended to February 23, 2022
Video from the December 8, 2021 Virtual Public Hearing for the DRG/WSSI Umbrella Mitigation Banking Instrument and Addendum #1 - Lake Elkhorn
202161394/21-NT-0448: WERRLEIN WSSC LLC, 522 Defense Highway, Annapolis Maryland 21401, has applied for the redevelopment of a vacant Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) administrative facility & associated parking lots into a single-family residential subdivision with associated infrastructure. -
A Virtual Public Informational Hearing was held on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, with a short informational session from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. The public informational hearing began at 7:00 p.m. The comment period was extended to January 15, 2022.
Prince George's County Public Schools, Fort Washington K-8 School Letter of Authorization No. 21-NT-0319/202160495 - Prince George's County Public Schools; Project Documents are available.
Conowingo Hydroelectric Project / Exelon Generation Company, LLC
Conowingo Pilot Dredge Project / Maryland Environmental Service (MES)
Abingdon Business Park - BTC III I-95 Logistics Center LLC (CREG/Westport I, LLC)
Chesapeake Utilities Pipeline Project - Virtual Informational Public Hearing -
A virtual public informational hearing was held on September 17, 2020. A video recording of the hearing is available.
DEALE BEACH CITIZENS ASSOCIATION (202060606/22-WQC-0001, Request for Water Quality Certification), 938 Main Street, Deale, Maryland 20751 and neighbors, have applied to construct one 75-foot long by 25-foot wide and one 85-foot long by 25-foot wide sand containment structures that are 2.8 feet above mean high water; and to fill and grade with 1300 cubic yards of sand along 175 feet of eroding shoreline and plant 8400 square feet of wetland vegetation all within 85-feet channelward from the mean high water line at an existing bulkhead. The purpose of the project is to prevent shoreline erosion and increase shoreline resilience. The proposed project is located within the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay along the shorelines of 953, 955, 957, and 959 Bay Drive, Deale, MD in Anne Arundel County. Public comments will be received through January 26, 2022. For more information or to provide comments, please contact Melissa McCanna at Melissa.McCanna@maryland.gov or at 410-537-4053.
Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company - Del-Mar Energy Virtual Informational Public Hearing -
virtual public informational hearing was held on July 7, 2020. For project plans and a video recording of the hearing, please see the
Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company project web page.
Jabez Branch Tributary 3, Millersville, Maryland - Request for Water Quality Certification (21-WQC-0326) for Jabez Branch Tributary 3, Millersville, Maryland
MdTA I-95 ETL Northern Section Extension Section 200
Phase II, Nontidal Wetlands and Waterways Application Modification No. 19-NT-0150/201960846: MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY, 300 Authority Drive, Baltimore 21222
- MdTA I-95 Section 200 Improvements Project, I-95 Electronic Toll Lane (ETL) Phase I - Modification Request - NOTE: The public comment period for the public informational hearing was extended until 5:00pm, April 1, 2021.
A virtual public hearing was held at 6:30 p.m. on March 4, 2021.
MDOT SHA/I-495 I-270 Managed Lane Study - Joint Public Notice, July 10, 2020 - MDE, Nontidal Wetlands and Waterways Tracking Numbers 20-NT-0114 / 202060649 / AI 168251, COE Application Number NAB-2018-02152.
NOTICE: The comment period was extended until Monday, November 9, 2020
Tradepoint Atlantic Wetlands License No. 13-0966(R2)
Trappe East Holding Business Trust (20-NT-2058/202061311) - Lakeside at Trappe, Talbot County; Project Documents are available.
Water Quality Certifications (WQCs)
Interested in conducting a wetland restoration or other conservation activity on your land?
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