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This certification process relies on volunteers to survey possible vernal pools and to submit documentation of certain biological and physical evidence of vernal pool habitat. We then review the documentation and make a determination whether the wetland basin in question meets the biological and physical criteria necessary for status as a "Certified Vernal Pool".
The NHESP's Guidelines for the Certification of Vernal Pool Habitat describes the criteria for certification and how citizens can provide the necessary documentation for certification.
The best way to submit your certification information is through the Vernal Pool & Rare Species (VPRS) Information System .
For current information on pools which have been certified Massachusetts, please visit MassGIS and view the NHESP Certified Vernal Pools datalayer (available for download or for viewing with OLIVER).
We strongly recommend that landowner permission be obtained prior to collecting certification documentation. It is the sole responsibility of an individual providing vernal pool certification information to the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program to ensure that all of their activities associated with gathering said information comply with law.
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