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Wetland Delineation Professional Assurance Initiative

Pilot Program

To advance Wisconsin's goals of protecting wetlands and increasing government efficiency, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is piloting a program to review reports from professionals who conduct wetland delineation to assure the work is meeting established criteria. The goal of this program is to provide a high level of certainty about wetland boundaries for project planning and save time in state review of wetland boundaries while enhancing protection for Wisconsin’s wetlands through more accurate wetland boundaries overall.

Wetland professionals may submit a request for assurance on an annual basis during the application window. Assurance is voluntary, and it is neither a requirement for conducting wetland delineation work nor a requirement for state permitting.

Assurance does not change the need for or decisions about wetland fill permits. The regulatory agencies, include DNR and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, hold final jurisdictional determination for wetland boundaries and permit decisions.

Assured Wetland Professionals

The individuals listed on the PDF below are recognized by the DNR as having assured wetland delineator status for purposes of Waterways Program wetland permits and state-mandated local programs. Concurrence from the DNR is not needed and wetland delineation issues are unlikely to cause delays in state permit decisions for sites at which these individuals are the lead field delineator and report author.

Assurance does not change decisions about wetland fill. Assurance is not a guarantee of accuracy or relief from landowner responsibility in the event an error occurs and wetlands are filled. While it is unlikely for professionals whose work is assured, inadvertent wetland fill that may result from errors must be remedied.

2024 Assured Delineators

Become an Assured Delineator

New Candidate Application

The DNR welcomes requests from professionals interested in having their wetland delineation work assured. Professional assurance is given for individuals, not for firms. Each person interested in professional assurance must submit the following in their application. See the wetland delineator application requirement for full details. There is no cost to apply.

  • A resume including education, training and work experience relevant to wetland delineation
  • Transcripts of courses taken relevant to wetland delineation
  • Six wetland delineations completed within the last 24 months

Application Review and Scoring

A Wetland Delineation Review Panel of interagency experts in soil science, plant taxonomy, hydrology and wetland delineation methods evaluates applications based on a specific set of parameters. Applications will be scored based on previous year field reviews, if applicable, as well as detailed report review using the assured delineator application scoring rubric.

Applications are accepted between Sept. 15 and Nov. 30 for the following growing season. Applications are reviewed and individual feedback is provided to applicants regardless of prior admittance to the program. If admitted to the program, assured delineators must pay a $900 program fee.

Continuing Assurance

Once professionally assured, a wetland delineator must abide by all items in the program self-certification, is subject to continual auditing and must pay the annual $900 program fee. Assured delineator audits consist of detailed report review and/or boundary confirmations with a DND Wetland ID Specialist in the field. Infractions identified during audits are reviewed following the program infraction prioritization procedures, which may include removal from the program.