Section 404 of the federal Clean Water Act regulates the use of freshwater and tidal wetlands. Development projects involving wetlands also are subject to provisions of the Coastal Management and Coastal Barriers Resources Act and a number of state protections. A critical element in the review of projects under all of these legislative measures is the accurate delineation of wetlands. The methods used to delineate wetlands vary between federal and state agencies and have been a key element in litigation concerning the regulation of development with the potential to affect wetlands throughout the country.
We have extensive experience in the delineation of wetlands in conformance to the requirements of the United States Army Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual, including hydrophitic vegetation, hydric soils and wetland hydrology, and the range of requirements mandated by states throughout the nation. We work closely with environmental attorneys and federal and state regulators to keep abreast of the current state of practice and regulatory requirements and apply this knowledge to guide clients through the complex process of wetlands delineation.