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 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 the October 30, 2021 Storm/High Tide Event (guidance issued November 3, 2021)
Guidance for Emergency Repairs - general (Updated August 2022) - 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.
Hurricane and Tropical Storm Preparedness tips are also available from the MDE home page.
State Application, Forms and Related Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Cancelled- Talbot County Dept. of Public Works Wastewater Force Main
Pre-Scheduled Hearing for Tuesday, September 27, 2022 was
CANCELLED as No Hearing Request Received.
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
Marine Contractors Licensing Board (MCLB) and other Environmental Boards information
NOTICE OF PRE-SCHEDULED HEARING CANCELLATION: Talbot County Dept. of Public Works Wastewater Force Main Pre-Scheduled Hearing for Tuesday, September 27, 2022 is CANCELLED as No Hearing Request was received by the September 23, 2022 deadline.
Conowingo Hydroelectric Project / Constellation Energy Generation, LLC (formerly Exelon Generation Company, LLC) - more information is available.
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
EVER FORWARD Grounding, Anne Arundel County, MD (MDE Wetlands and Waterways project 202261142/22-WL-0268) -
Public Notice and related documents are available.
McGill Run Mitigation Bank, Baltimore County, MD (MDE Wetlands and Waterways project 19-NT-0064/201960458) - a recording of the July 11, 2022 public hearing is available from the RSI website at:
MDOT SHA/I-495 I-270 Managed Lane Study - Joint Public Notice, July 2022 - MDE, Nontidal Wetlands and Waterways Tracking Numbers 20-NT-0114 / 202060649 / AI 168251/ 22-WQC-0023, COE Application Number NAB-2018-02152. Notice of in-person and virtual public hearings during September 2022. The comment period was 8/1/2022 through 9/29/2022.
NEW! NOTE: The public comment period was extended to October 28, 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.
WERRLEIN WSSC LLC (202161394/21-NT-0448), 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.
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.
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.
Wetlands License No. 13-0966(R2)
Trappe East Holding Business Trust (20-NT-2058/202061311) - Lakeside at Trappe, Talbot County; Project Documents are available. Notice of Permit Decision (PDF) is available, 10/28/2022
Water Quality Certifications (WQCs)
Interested in conducting a wetland restoration or other conservation activity on your land?
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