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.
State Application, Forms and Related Information
Frequently Asked Questions
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Chesapeake Bay Trust
grant program to provide funds for nontidal wetland restoration, creation, and enhancement projects throughout Maryland.
- Streamlining Rural Broadband projects:
User’s Guide to Streamlining Protective Environmental Permitting & Securing Resource Access
Guidance on navigating the broadband permitting process - developed by MDE, DNR, MDOT, MDP and DoIT
Notice: Use of the new
JPA Tidal Short Form is being required for submission of tidal applications effective March 31, 2018.(JPA_Tidal_ShortForm_Notice_of_Use.pdf)
Notice of Intent to Revise Maryland's Nontidal Wetland Mitigation Regulations
Requesting Feedback on Methodology to Revise Nontidal Wetland ILF Rates
Best Management Practices for Working in Nontidal Wetlands, Wetland Buffers, Waterways, and 100-Year Floodplains
Tidal Wetland Regulations for Living Shorelines
Board of Marine Contractors information has been moved to the
Environmental Boards page, near the bottom.
Abingdon Business Park - BTC III I-95 Logistics Center LLC (CREG/Westport I, LLC)
202060606/22-WQC-0001, Request for Water Quality Certification: DEALE BEACH CITIZENS ASSOCIATION, 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.
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 has been extended to January 15, 2022.
Jabez Branch Tributary 3, Millersville, Maryland - Request for Water Quality Certification (21-WQC-0326) for Jabez Branch Tributary 3, Millersville, Maryland
202160895/21-WL-0640/21-WQC-0331/MDOT Maryland Port Administration, Amanda Peñafiel, World Trade Center, 401 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 has applied to restore a remote island habitat at Barren Island, located in Dorchester County adjacent to Upper Hoopers Island. A public hearing was scheduled at the Madison Volunteer Fire Department (1154 Taylors Island Rd, Madison, MD 21648) at 6:30 PM on November 15, 2021, with an informational poster session held from 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM but has been
CANCELLED. A NEW hearing date is planned to be held, if one is requested by the public during the open public comment period from October 22, 2021 to November 29, 2021 by 5:00 pm.
The informational public hearing is pre-scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on January 6, 2022 at the Madison Volunteer Fire Department, 1154 Taylors Island Rd, Madison, MD 21648. The pre-scheduled hearing will be cancelled if no hearing requests are received by 5 pm on November 29, 2021. A poster session/display will be available from 6:00 PM to 6:30 PM where project drawings can be reviewed and MDOT Maryland Port Administration representatives will also be available to answer questions. Updates on the hearing status are available at the following link:
https://mde.maryland.gov/programs/Water/WetlandsandWaterways/Pages/BarrenIsland.aspx UPDATE: The January 6, 2022 public hearing has been canceled because none was requested.
Baynes, Isabel/1025 Bowleys Quarter Road - Joint Public Notice may be viewed at
https://www.usace.army.mil/Portals/63/PN%2020-70.pdf - MDE, Tidal Wetlands Division Tracking Numbers 20-WQC-1456/202060046/72712 - COE Application Number NAB-2020-60046
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)
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.
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.
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 projectweb page.
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
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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