Vermont contains a great diversity of wetlands, ranging from open water habitats to rich forested swamps. Wetlands vary because of differences in hydrology, parent soil material, historical land use, topography and other factors. These differences make each wetland unique in its appearance, biota, and function in the landscape. Some general wetland types present in Vermont include open water wetlands, emergent wetlands, scrub-shrub wetlands, forested wetlands, wet meadows, peatlands, and vernal pools.
Vermont has many types of wetlands, and some are not obvious at first glance. To help decide if your building project or potential land purchase involves a wetland, simply follow the steps below to assess the site in question.
Make contact with the Wetlands Program by emailing the appropriate ecologist using the Contact Map located below. Locate the county your wetland or area of concern is in and choose the INQUIRY TOPIC under the correct ecologist. Click here to create a location map.
Certain activities are allowed in Class I or Class II wetlands without a permit. Allowed uses must follow guidelines specified in Section 6 of the Vermont Wetland Rules, and must comply with all other applicable laws. Examples of allowed uses include certain agricultural and silvicultural activities, certain utility operations and maintenance, low-impact recreational activities, certain activities relating to scientific research and education, and ordinary residential activities in existing lawns.
The State of Vermont protects wetlands which provide significant functions and values and also protects a buffer zone directly adjacent to significant wetlands. Wetlands in Vermont are classified as Class I, II, or III based on the significance of the functions and values they provide.
This section of the Vermont Wetlands Program website is a clearinghouse of wetland resources from Vermont and beyond. Whether you’re a landowner, student, teacher, natural resources professional, or interested community member, the links below will provide you with the information you need to learn about, conserve, protect, and/or restore our valuable wetland resources.