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Wetland boundary delineation

Consult a Professional for Wetland Delineation

Reviewing maps and walking your property to look for water-loving plants and other wetland clues may give you a good idea of whether or not wetlands are present. However, only a professional wetland delineator can verify wetlands and establish their boundaries. All wetlands in Wisconsin are protected by law and people are required to avoid building on wetlands, filling them in, or otherwise impacting wetlands without DNR authorization.

Determining wetland boundaries

Anyone planning a development project must know the precise boundaries of wetlands on the property as determined through delineation procedures specified in state and federal rules. A wetland professional is generally required to make the boundary determination and their findings are subject to review by the DNR and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

All determinations must follow the requirements specified in these documents:

  1. Chapter NR 103, Wis. Adm. Code
  2. Chapter NR 352, Wis. Adm. Code
  3. The 1987 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual [PDF exit DNR]
  4. The proper U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regional Supplement for your location.
  5. Guidance for Submittal of Delineation Reports to the St. Paul District Army Corps of Engineers and the Wisconsin DNR [PDF]
  6. Wetland Screening and Delineation Procedures Guidance

Wisconsin Wetlands 1987 COE Manual

Tips for Hiring a Wetland Consultant

Many planning, engineering, and environmental services consultants in Wisconsin offer wetland delineation services. Consider contacting several consultants to compare their rates and services. In addition to those questions, ask them questions to assess their credentials, the quality of their work, and their past track record in getting permits approved.

Wetland delineation professional assurance

DNR has established a professional assurance initiative for highly experienced wetland consultants that meet application criteria. Consultants who are professionally assured by DNR do not require DNR wetland boundary confirmation for individual projects. For more information and instructions, see the DNR Wetland Delineation Assurance Initiative page.

List of 2021 Assured Delineators