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potential wetlands on your property to help understand the ecological value of your property and to help design projects.
wetlands through land use planning, acquisition and wetland protection laws.
wetlands to improve wetland health and function and by re-establishing destroyed wetlands.
wetland losses through restoration, enhancement and establishment.

Physical clues

The second step in locating wetlands is to walk the property and look for physical clues wetlands may be present. To be designated as a wetland, an area generally has three components: wet soils, plants that grow in wet conditions, and the seasonal presence of enough water to support those plants.

Video guide

Waking Up to Wetlands: Boots on the Ground

In the “Waking Up to Wetlands” video guide, the “Step 2: Boots on the ground” module shows some of the plants, soils and other wetland clues. It also explains how to find a wetland professional to verify wetlands and establish their boundaries.

“Waking Up to Wetlands” - Step 2: Boots on the ground
[YouTube VIDEO length: 4:35]

Wetland clues checklist

We recommend you use the Wetland Clues Checklist and Photos to help identify clues wetlands may be present on a property. Then print off a copy of the checklist, walk the property, including wooded areas, and answer the questions.

Answering yes

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, a wetland may be present. If you’re buying land, we recommend you consider completing a real estate addendum with your offer to purchase. This process allows you more time to hire a professional to verify if there is a wetland and allows you to re–negotiate or rescind your offer.

If you’re considering building on land you already own, we recommend you consult a wetland professional to verify a wetland is present and to identify wetland boundaries. You can hire a private professional trained in wetland boundary delineation.

Step 3: Explore your options

If your property contains wetland resources, you have several options. We recommend you preserve wetlands and enjoy the many benefits they bring, such as catching a glimpse of great blue herons, woodcock, frogs, salamanders and other wildlife. So, get your feet wet and explore them wetlands.

» Explore Your Options

Know if you have a wetland steps

Locating wetlands Reviewing Maps Physical clues Exploring options

Contact information
For more information about this page, please contact:
Sally Jarosz
Wetland ecologist
Last Revised: Monday July 02 2018