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.
Maryland State Programmatic General Permit-6 MDSPGP-6 (effective October 1, 2021) from the Army Corps of Engineers website
New Guidance for Stream Restoration in Stream/Wetland Complexes
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
Conowingo Settlement Agreement (PDF)
Wetlands and Waterways Permits Interactive Search Portal
Tier II Review: Nontidal Wetlands and Waterway Construction
State Application Processing Procedures
Joint Evaluation Meetings and Link to Form
PreApplication Meetings and Link to Form
Application Fee Schedules
Applications and Forms
Tidal Wetland Joint Federal/State Application for the Alteration of any Tidal Wetland in Maryland A.K.A. "Short Form" - Required for submission of all tidal applications effective March 31, 2018
Application Instruction Booklet and Sample Activity Guidelines and Drawings
Electronically Accepted Permit Applications
Maryland State Programmatic General Permit-5 MDSPGP-5 (effective October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2021) from the Army Corps of Engineers website
Maryland State Programmatic General Permit-6 MDSPGP-6 (effective October 1, 2021) from the Army Corps of Engineers website
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.
Guidance on navigating the broadband permitting process - developed by MDE, DNR, MDOT, MDP and DoIT
The User’s Guide to Streamlining Protective Environmental Permitting & Securing Resource Access offers practical step-by-step advice to internet service project developers that may require state agency environmental permits or access to state owned land and communication infrastructure. The guide was developed as a collaboration between the Maryland Departments of the Environment, Natural Resources, Transportation, Planning and Information Technology.
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.
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.
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.
Video from the December 8, 2021 Virtual Public Hearing for the DRG/WSSI Umbrella Mitigation Banking Instrument and Addendum #1 - Lake Elkhorn
Jabez Branch Tributary 3, Millersville, Maryland - Request for Water Quality Certification (21-WQC-0326) for Jabez Branch Tributary 3, Millersville, Maryland - A Virtual Public Informational Hearing is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on December 1, 2021 *Update: The Maryland Register October 8, 2021 Vol. 48 Issue 21 posted the hearing notice for this project twice by mistake. The November 10, 2021 Hearing Notice in the Maryland Register is incorrect and no hearing is to be held on this project on November 10, 2021. The December 1, 2021 hearing notice and registration/participation information is the valid notice for the hearing.
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:
UPDATE: The January 6, 2022 public hearing has been canceled because none was requested.
MdTA I-95 Belvidere Road Interchange Project (20-NT-0180/202061123) and Water Quality Certification 21-WQC-0327, Cecil County -Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA), 300 Authority Drive, Baltimore 21222 has applied for a new interchange between I-95 and Belvidere Road at the current overpass, including all necessary attendant infrastructure (roadway widening, new ramps, new culverts/extensions, utility relocations, stormwater management, etc.) and off-site staging/stockpiling, wetland mitigation, and reforestation.
The Public Notice and related project documents are available.
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 has applied for a Modification to 19-NT-0150. The modification request includes design changes such as an additional stormwater management facility along southbound I-95 south of MD 152, addition of a floodwater attenuation facility located near Old Joppa Road, various other design changes to erosion and sediment control and stormwater management facilities, culvert and outfall improvements, and stream channel stabilization throughout the corridor. Also included is revised design of I-95 NB widening and a noise wall between MD 24 and Bynum Run, geotechnical borings associated with a potential Park and Ride facility located near Old Mountain Road adjacent to I-95, and clearing of trees within a wetland, buffer, and floodplain along MD 7C in Cecil County. A virtual public hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on December 2, 2021. For more information, see: https://mde.maryland.gov/programs/Water/WetlandsandWaterways/Pages/I-95_ETL_North_Sect200_PhaseII.aspx
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.
Associated materials can be accessed at: https://mde.maryland.gov/programs/Water/WetlandsandWaterways/Pages/MdTA_I-95_Sect-200_Improvements.aspx
Abingdon Business Park - BTC III I-95 Logistics Center LLC (CREG/Westport I, LLC)
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
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
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.
Trappe East Holding Business Trust (20-NT-2058/202061311) - Lakeside at Trappe, Talbot County; Project Documents are available.
Nationwide Permit- Maryland Water Quality Certification and Coastal Zone Management Act Consistency Determination
Chesapeake and Delaware Canal proposed maintenance dredging - Application for Water Quality Certification (application # 19-WQC-01) / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District
Conowingo Hydroelectric Project - Exelon Application for Water Quality Certification
Conowingo Hydroelectric Project / Exelon - Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification for the Conowingo Hydroelectric Project / FERC Project No. P-405 / MDE WSA Application No. 17-WQC-02 - April 27, 2018 (PDF, 59 pages, 3 MB)
Public Hearing re: Exelon Conowingo Hydroelectric Dam License Renewal, et al. - Full Transcript of Hearing conducted on December 5, 2017
Conowingo Hydroelectric Project - Public Comment Period Extended to January 15, 2018. At the Public Hearing on December 5, 2017, MDE announced that the public comment period was extended to January 15, 2018.
Conowingo Hydroelectric Project - Public Hearing Announcement for December 5, 2017 (Announcement dated October 13, 2017)
Conowingo Hydroelectric Project - Second Comment Period - Public Comments Received (Post-October 13, 2017)
Conowingo Hydroelectric Project - Initial Comment Period - Public Comments Received (Post-July 10, 2017)
Public Notice of August 8, 2017 - Conowingo Hydroelectric Project - Public Comment Period Extended through August 23, 2017
Public Notice of July 10, 2017 - Conowingo Hydroelectric Project - Exelon Application for Water Quality Certification
Challenges to the Water Quality Certification
Please Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting public health emergency, the public informational hearing previously scheduled for April 2, 2020 was CANCELED.
Conowingo Pilot Dredge Project/MES - Public Notice - March 15, 2020
Conowingo Pilot Dredge Project/MES - Application - March 2020 (PDF, 103 pages, 7MB)
Conowingo Pilot Dredge Project/MES - Public Notice - May 15, 2018
Conowingo Pilot Dredge Project/MES - Notice of Public Informational Hearing for a State Nontidal Wetlands and Waterways Permit and the Opportunity to Provide Comments - May 14, 2018
Conowingo Pilot Dredge Project/MES - Application for a State Nontidal Wetlands and Waterways Permit No. 201860797/18-NT-0152 - May 8, 2018 (PDF, 166 pages, 22MB)
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.
CS Patuxent Greens and City of Laurel -- Permit Package (18-NT-0067) - Permit issued July 29, 2019
Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company - Del-Mar Energy Virtual Informational Public Hearing -
A 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.
Ellicott City Flood Mitigation - Notice of a joint public hearing with the Army Corps of Engineers, for Water Quality Certification 20-WQC-0033: The virtual public information hearing was held via Webex: September 9, 2020 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The public hearing announcement and its attachments may be viewed at the following link:
Tradepoint Atlantic Wetlands License No. 13-0966(R2)
Wetland Conservation Plan
MDE's Regulatory Decision Timeline for the Charles County Cross County Connector project
Supplements to US Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual
Priority Areas for Wetland Restoration, Preservation, and Mitigation
Shore Erosion Control Guidelines - Marsh Creation (1.4 MB)
Shore Erosion Control Guidelines for Waterfront Property Owners - 2nd Edition (2.1 MB)
Please visit the Wetlands Work website, a resource for landowners in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Restoration and Restoration Funding
Programmatic Wetland Mitigation: description of sites by county or watershed
Effectiveness of Maryland Compensatory Mitigation Program
Rapid Mitigation Site Scoring Method
Structural Shoreline Stablilization Maps
For questions and comments regarding this website, please contact the webmanager.
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