What is a wetland?

For most people, the perception of a wetland is limited to swamps and marshes. In fact, surface-dry woodlands, meadows, and even lawns can be identified as wetlands. In Connecticut, wetlands are identified by the features of the first 18 to 24 inches of soil. A wetland is caused by groundwater coming to or near the ground surface or is caused by a restrictive layer of clay or ledge blocking water from percolating downward. Soils that are identified as poorly drained, very poorly drained, alluvial or floodplain are wetland soils.

View the statutory definition.


Be aware this describes inland wetlands, as opposed to tidal wetlands. Tidal wetlands are those wetlands that occur below elevation 5.5 feet and are tidally influenced. Tidal wetlands are regulated by the Planning and Zoning Commission as part of the Coastal Area Management program of the state. View more information on tidal wetland regulations.

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1. Contact Us
2. What constitutes a watercourse? If a stream dries up periodically, is it still a regulated watercourse?
3. What is a wetland?
4. How do I know if I have wetlands on my property?
5. Why does Connecticut protect wetlands and watercourses?
6. What role does the Greenwich IWWA play in implementing the statute?
7. I want to tend my wetlands and watercourse responsibly. What should I be doing?
8. I’m in the early planning phase of a project. Can someone at the IWWA give me guidance?
9. Is someone from the town able to come to my property to talk about my wetlands?
10. I want to buy a home which has a “Declaration of Wetlands and Watercourses” filed on the land records. What does that mean?
11. What is a “Regulated Activity”?
12. Why is a there a regulated area “buffer” next to wetlands and watercourses?
13. What can be done with seasonally wet areas on my property?
14. Map of Watersheds