Citizens Guide to the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission
This guide was created to help citizens better understand the inland wetlands process so that they may participate more effectively and have a more active and positive role in protecting wetlands and watercourses. The Planning Department has provided the information contained in this guide for educational purposes and it is not intended as legal advice. As statutes, regulations, and ordinances are subject to change, please consult with the Planning Department for the most up to date information.
Using this Guide
To navigate through the pages of this guide, please use the links below. These page links will be located at the bottom of each page in the guide. You will note blue hypertext throughout this guide. These will either open a new tab, a new window or take you directly to other web pages and documents, where you can get more information. To return to this guide from outside documents or pages, close any new tabs or windows or hit your back button. Many documents are in Adobe PDF format, which requires Adobe's free Acrobat Reader that you can download here.
Table of Contents
Did You Know?
Polluted stormwater runoff containing automotive oil and grease, agricultural chemicals and waste, and residential lawn chemicals; salination from rising sea levels; industrial discharges; pouring unused medications or household chemicals down the drain; failed septic systems and sewage overflows; illegal dumping; and oil and gas production are just a few of the things that can polute surface water and groundwater, making it toxic to plants and animals as well as humans. The scarcity of drinking water around the world is making potable (drinking) water the oil or gold of the future, which nations will go to war to sieze or protect. The Southwest is experincing record droughts that could make life in parts of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas impossible. The Ogallala Acquifer that irrigates the the nation's agricultural heartland took millions of years to form and is being drained in a matter of decades. Even cities like Atlanta are fighting legal battles with neighboring cities such as Chatanooga over water rights. New England's abundance of clean water is a precious natural resource that can't be taken for granted, and if we protect it, the nation and the world will turn to us with envy when they have squandered theirs or built beyond the ability of their water supplies to sustain them. Think twice before you carelessly pollute this precious resource.