Wetland Hydrology

Floodplain Forest Wetland
Floodplain Forest Wetland
Wetland hydrology refers to the timing and extent of flooding or soil saturation and is considered to be the "driving force" in wetland formation. Rainfall, soil permeability, position in the landscape, surrounding land use, and type of vegetation all influence the hydrology of a wetland.

Wetland Identification and Delineation

The saturated or seasonally saturated conditions in wetlands create an environment that favors the growth of specifically adapted wetland plants (hydrophytic vegetation) and promotes the development of wetland soils (hydric soils).

Wetland Photo Gallery

Wildlife Viewing in the Clyde River Wetland
Wildlife Viewing in the Clyde River Wetland

Recreation in Wetlands
Recreation in Wetlands

Dragonfly Hatched in Marsh
Dragonfly Hatched in Marsh

Wetland Types

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.  

Landowner's Guide to Wetlands

What to Know Before You Purchase Land or Build

Vermont Wetland Information

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.

Contact Wetlands Staff

Wetlands Contact and Inquiry Portal

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.

Allowed Uses and Best Management Practices (BMPs)

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.

Jurisdictional Wetlands

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.


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