Why is a there a regulated area “buffer” next to wetlands and watercourses?

As the science of wetland and watercourse protection evolved, so did the knowledge that activities adjacent to these resources could negatively impact them. The language in the state statutes and the town’s regulations addresses this potential and provides the agency with the authority to regulate any activity that may impact a wetland or watercourse. Technically, regardless of where an activity is relative to a wetland or watercourse, if the activity may impact the resource, it will be regulated.


Scientists have determined on average 100 to 150 feet of naturally vegetated land provides enough protection against an assortment of impacts from a diversity of land uses. In Greenwich, regulations set the Upland Review Area at 100 feet from wetlands and watercourses, unless those resources occur within the public drinking water supply watershed, then the buffer is 150 feet. While protecting the 100 and 150-foot buffer to wetland and watercourses is desirable, it is not always possible and sometimes not needed depending on the resource’s value and the nature of the proposed work.

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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