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Walk to Search for wetland clues

The second step in locating wetlands is to walk the property and look for physical clues wetlands may be present. A wetland has three components: evidence of wet soils, plants that grow in wet conditions, and the seasonal presence of enough water to support wetland plants.

Video guide - Step 2

In the "Waking Up to Wetlands" video guide, the "Step 2: Boots on the ground" module shows some of the plants, soils and other wetland clues. It also explains how to find a wetland professional to verify wetlands and establish their boundaries.

"Waking Up to Wetlands" - Step 2: Boots on the ground
[YouTube VIDEO length: 4:35]

Wetland clues checklist

We recommend you use the Wetland Clues Checklist and Photos to help identify clues wetlands may be present on a property. Then print off a copy of the checklist, walk the property, including wooded areas, and answer the questions.

Wetland clues found?

If you answered "yes" to any of the checklist questions, a wetland may be present. If you plan to purchase land and wetlands may be present, the DNR recommends that you complete a real estate addendum with your offer to purchase. This process allows you more time to hire a professional to verify if there is a wetland present and allows you to renegotiate or rescind your offer.

If you're considering building on land you already own, the DNR recommends that you consult a wetland professional to delineate wetlands and to identify wetland boundaries. You can hire a private professional trained in wetland boundary delineation.

Go to Step 3: Explore your options

If your property contains wetland resources, you have several options. We recommend you preserve wetlands and enjoy the many benefits they bring, such as catching a glimpse of great blue herons, woodcock, frogs, salamanders and other wildlife. So, get your feet wet and explore the wetlands.

» Explore Your Options