Wetlands Protection Act
The Wetlands Protection Act (M.G.L. c.131, s.40) and its implementing regulations (310 CMR 10.00 ) protect state-listed rare wetland wildlife species by prohibiting alterations that would have short or long term adverse effects to their wetland habitats of rare resource area habitats.
The regulations state that we need to review proposed alterations to wetland resource area habitats of rare wildlife . We have created maps of Estimated Habitats of Rare Wildlife as a screening tool.
If a project is within Estimated Habitat of Rare Wildlife and a Notice of Intent (NOI) is required, a copy of the NOI must be sent to us for review. Your local Conservation Commission can help you determine if a NOI is needed.
Unless exempt, you will also need to file with us under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA). If the project is exempt from MESA review, you should be aware that you must still submit a copy of the NOI to us. We may request a survey for rare species following standard protocols, and or require conditions to avoid short or long term adverse effects to the wetland resource area habitat of state-listed wetland wildlife.
We will respond within 30 days of receipt of a complete NOI filing. Our letter:
will inform the Conservation Commission whether the area is actual wetland resource area habitat for a state-listed rare wetland wildlife species;
state whether the proposed project will have a short or long term adverse effect to the actual wetland resource area habitat of state-listed rare wetland wildlife;
provide any conditions that you must follow to avoid an adverse effect to wetland resource area habitat, or recommendations for revising the project to avoid an adverse effect prior to resubmission.
The Conservation Commission may then issue an Order of Conditions (OOC) for the project. The OOC will include any conditions or project modifications necessary to prevent an adverse effect to wetland resource area habitats of state-listed rare wetland wildlife species. In such cases, the Conservation Commission will send a copy of the OOC to us upon issuance.
Contact for Rare species and the Wetlands Protection Act (WPA)
Open M–F, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. (closed noon–12:30 for lunch)
Southeastern Massachusetts/Cape & Islands