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Wetland restoration permits

Notes on Wetland Restoration Permits

Review general permit options or use the decision tool below and apply for a general permit if your project meets eligibility requirements. If your wetland restoration project is not eligible for a general permit, the decision tool will direct you to review other Wetland Permitting Options.

To start a wetland permit application, use the DNR Water ePermitting System. A WAMS ID is required.

To determine if a federal permit is required for your project, contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – St. Paul District Office. The federal wetland permitting process is a separate process involving a local USACE Project Manager.

If grading, filling or other wetland activities are proposed on agricultural lands, contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office.

A DNR Aquatic Plant Management permit is required for chemical spraying in areas with standing water, including wetlands.

General Permit Options

Wetland Conservation General Permits

A Wetland General Permit is required and available for projects involving existing wetlands and any of the activities listed below and that meet the eligibility requirements in the general permit checklist. To be eligible for a general permit, your restoration must be designed according to NRCS Wisconsin field office conservation practice standards. Also, activities may only take place in wetland communities dominated by agricultural crops, non-native invasive species, or a similarly degraded wetland community type.

Wetland Conservation GP Activities:

  • Drain tile alteration or removal by disabling a section of drain tile or adding a water control structure within the existing tile line in the project area.
  • Disabling artificial surface drains by filling the lengths of the ditch downstream of the drainage system to be altered. Ditch fills may be added upstream of ditch plugs or ditch fills for the entire length of the ditch. Ditch plugs may be eliminated if the proposed ditch is completely filled with earth.
  • Constructing dams or water control structures that include dikes, embankments and low berms to impede surface water drainage or runoff.
  • Altering the hydrology of an area by removing pumps, breaching structures, such as dikes, or re-routing artificial drainage features or manipulation of water control structures.
  • Remove soil and vegetation or post European settlement deposition that has accumulated over historic wetland soils.
  • Introducing native plants and managing existing exotic or invasive plant species.
  • Installing and maintaining monitoring devices such as gauges and water level recording devices.
NRCS Wisconsin Field Office Conservation Practice Standards Documents
Other Resources for NRCS, FWS, and DNR sponsored projects