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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.

Locating Wetlands

Wetlands are not always obvious. Wisconsin has more than a dozen different types and some may be dry for most or all of the year. But all wetlands are protected by law and permits are required before you build on wetlands or otherwise affect them.

Wetland identification video guide

Waking Up to Wetlands: Opener

Our “Waking up to Wetlands” video, presented in four modules, takes a lighthearted look at the steps you can take to determine if wetlands are likely present on a property.

In the “Waking up to Wetlands” video guide, the first module provides a road map to locating wetlands:

“Waking Up to Wetlands” - Introduction
[YouTube VIDEO length: 2:11]

Know if you have a wetland

Knowing if wetlands are present can help people buy property that meets their needs –– and enables them to protect wetlands while avoiding legal troubles, flooded basements and shifting foundations that can occur when wetlands are built on. Awareness of wetlands can help you enjoy, explore, restore, or enhance them. Follow these steps:

  1. Review maps
    Reviewing Maps
    • If the map indicates wetlands, consult a professional
  2. Walk the property with a wetland clues checklist
    Physical clues
  3. Explore your options
    Exploring options

About our partners

The DNR collaborated with the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association, the Wisconsin Wetland Association and government organizations on the tools, which were developed under grant funding from the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, the Great Lakes Protection Fund and the Natural Resources Foundation. The project was supported and informed by the Wisconsin County Code Administrators, the Wisconsin Towns Association, The League of Wisconsin Municipalities, and the Wisconsin Builders Association.

Last Revised: Tuesday January 08 2019