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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.

Map review

The first step in locating wetlands is reviewing maps.

Video Guide

Waking Up to Wetlands: Reviewing Maps

In the “Waking up to Wetlands” video guide, the “Step 1: Reviewing Maps” module shows what maps to look at, where to find them and how to use them.

“Waking Up to Wetlands” - Step 1: Reviewing maps
[YouTube VIDEO length: 1:50]


Using these maps in conjunction with one another can help determine if wetlands are likely present on a given property. Remember, maps are just guides and on site investigation is required to verify what the maps show.

Wetland indicator map

This interactive map theme available through the DNR Surface Water Data Viewer, shows wetlands and potential wetlands. The map shows wetlands that have been officially mapped through the Wisconsin Wetland Inventory process and areas that may be wetlands based on their soil types.

  • Read the key on the left to determine what the map represents. Officially mapped wetlands are outlined in yellow and potential wetlands are shaded in pink.
  • For more information, click on the identify tool at the top of the map and then again at the location on the map where you would like more information. The left side will list more detailed information.
  • Read more about the Wetland Indicator Map and how to use it.

Wisconsin Wetland Inventory

The Wisconsin Wetland Inventory shows wetlands that have been officially identified and recorded. These areas are outlined in yellow in on–line maps.

Call in a pro

If the map indicates a wetland or potential wetland, consult a wetland professional to verify it is a wetland and establish its boundaries.

If you’re considering buying land, you may want to complete a wetland addendum with your offer to purchase. The addendum gives you more time to hire a professional to verify there is a wetland and allows you to re–negotiate or rescind your offer.

Step 2: Boots on the ground

Remember, maps are just guides. They may not show every feature or wetland on the ground. You must walk the land to see if the map accurately matches up with what you find on the ground and have a professional verify if wetlands are present. For a checklist describing physical clues to look for, see: Boots on the Ground

Know if you have a wetland steps

Locating wetlands Reviewing Maps Physical clues Exploring options

Contact information
For more about the Wisconsin Wetland Inventory, please contact:
Amanda Minks
Wetlands Inventory Coordinator
For more about the digital inventory, please contact:
Calvin Lawrence
GIS Specialist for the Wetlands Inventory
Last Revised: Tuesday January 08 2019