Do I Need a Freshwater Wetlands Permit?

A NYS Freshwater Wetlands Permit is required for any physical disturbance, within the boundary or within the adjacent area of a state protected freshwater wetland. The adjacent area usually extends 100 feet from the wetland but has been extended beyond 100 feet under unusual circumstances.

NYS Freshwater Wetland regulations identify compatible uses for conducting activities in wetlands. Almost any activity that may adversely impact the wetlands, or their adjacent areas, is regulated. Examples of activities that require a permit include:

Note that your project or activity may require additional permits under other DEC programs:

Protection of Waters permits are required for certain activities, such as dredging or filling which take place in navigable waters; or activities which may result in disturbance to the bed or banks of protected streams or the construction of overwater structures.

  1. If an activity will require a permit from the Corps of Engineers, then a Section 401 Water Quality Certification by DEC may also be needed.
  2. If the activity will involve a discharge to ground water, a SPDES permit will be required.

If you are not sure whether your project requires more than one permit, contact the Regional DEC Division of Environmental Permits office for the county in which the project is located.

See Application Procedures and Downloadable Permit Application Forms Freshwater Wetlands for additional information regarding the Freshwater Wetland Permit Program.

Not all wetlands are protected by DEC. You may be subject to federal or local wetland regulations for wetlands not protected by DEC. Please contact your town officials and the United States Army Corps of Engineering for any permitting they might require. If a DEC Freshwater Wetland Permit is required, when you file your application, a copy will also be forwarded to the Corps of Engineers.