Department of Environmental Conservation

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Wetland Functions and/or Values

Article 24 of the Environmental Conservation Law, section 24-0105 (statement of findings) lists the benefits of freshwater wetlands that the Department is mandated to protect.

Freshwater wetlands provide:

  1. Flood and storm control by the hydrologic absorption and storage capacity
  2. wildlife habitat (breeding, nesting and feeding grounds and cover for wildlife, waterfowl, and shore birds including migratory waterfowl and rare species such as the bald eagle and osprey)
  3. protection of subsurface water resources and ground water recharge
  4. recreation
    • hunting
    • fishing
    • boating
    • hiking
    • bird watching
    • photography
    • camping and other uses
  5. pollution treatment by serving as biological and chemical oxidation basins
  6. erosion control by serving as sedimentation areas, filtering basins,
  7. protection of channels and harbors by absorbing silt and organic matter
  8. education and scientific research by providing readily accessible outdoor bio-physical laboratories, living classrooms and vast training and education resources
  9. open space and aesthetic appreciation derived from the fact that they are often the only remaining open areas along crowded river fronts and coastal Great Lakes regions.
  10. sources of nutrients in freshwater food cycles and nursery grounds and sanctuaries for freshwater fish

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    Division of Environmental Permits
    4th Floor
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-1750
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