Wetlands are potential issues for many development projects. Wenck’s water resources team will identify and delineate wetlands in the areas that will be impacted by your project in compliance with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), State and Local Government unit (LGU) requirements. Wenck can also prepare and submit the appropriate applications to the COE and required state and county agencies. If necessary, Wenck will help develop mitigation strategies to manage impacts. Wenck has Professional Wetland Scientists and Professional Soil Classifiers on staff to provide you with the guidance and support you need. Our wetland expertise and productive working relationships with LGUs, the State water agencies, and the COE will move your project quickly through the approval process.
Delineating, Mitigation, Permitting & Monitoring Preparation of Comprehensive Wetland
- Management Plans
- Wetland Change Assessment
- Wetland Functions and Values Assessment
- Wetland Mapping
- FSA Wetland WETS Analysis
- Aerial Photo Interpretation
- GIS Analysis
- Hydric Soil Delineation
- Regulatory Negotiation
- CAD Drafting
- Wetland Banking
Determining the boundaries of an isolated cattail marsh with steep slopes is fairly straightforward. Identifying and delineating the boundaries of a subtle farmed wetland can be very challenging. This process involves an off-site data analysis including evaluating historic aerial photographs in the context of precipitation data. Wetlands that are consistently evident in photo years with normal precipitation are identified. In some cases, the off-site analysis is followed up with field work to collect additional data and make final determinations of the presence and extent of wetland. This field work includes the analysis of site topography to determine the impacts of constructed drainage ditches on a basin.
The determination of farmed wetlands has several implications, including:
- Drainage system setback requirements
- Restoration potential
- Which agencies, if any, regulate the basin
- What activities are allowed or what permits are needed
Wetland regulations are one of the more complicated issues associated with any project. If a minor impact to a wetland is proposed, the permitting process can change construction schedules, dictate project phasing, and even cause major changes in plan design. When it comes down to trust for navigating you through the wetland regulatory maze, there is no substitute for experience. Wenck’s wetland consultants have worked multiple decades in the wetland regulatory field. Our experience pays off by guiding you through complicated, high-profile projects and finding the most efficient path to approval. We know the regulations, the interpretations of them, and the agency staff who enforces them. Understanding how to represent your interests while also respecting the rules and the regulatory staff is the reason for our longevity as a firm. Armed with pertinent knowledge and treating your project like our own, we consistently deliver unmatched results.
Wenck staff have thorough knowledge of the following wetland regulatory programs:
- Section 404 Clean Water Act
- Section 10 Rivers and Harbors Act
- Food Security Act of 1985 (“Swampbuster”)
- Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act
- Minnesota DNR Protected Waters Rules
- Wisconsin Chapter 30
- Wisconsin NR103 Wetland Water Quality Standards
- Wisconsin NR350 Wetland Mitigation Rules
- Wisconsin NR151 Runoff Management Rules
- Wisconsin Act 6
- Numerous local ordinances
Wenck has knowledge and experience to turn ideas into realities. Restoring and creating wetlands for project-specific mitigation or banking purposes starts with an honest assessment of feasibility. Many factors must be assessed before undertaking such a project, including hydrology source, soil types, drainage patterns, surrounding land use, ownership and easement issues, the future around the site, and economic considerations. We partner with you, creating an unbiased evaluation and treating your land as if it were our own.
Wenck helps many landowners evaluate the merits of their project, bringing numerous wetland banks to market. We offer whatever level of representation you desire. Whether it is silent partner advising behind the scenes or an active broker marketing your wetland credits in the marketplace, our multi-disciplinary team of experts in science, regulations, hydrology, soils, GIS and engineering can complete your project seamlessly and completely in-house.
Wetland banks and site-specific mitigation projects creates an obligation for the landowner to monitor and manage the project to ensure criteria are being met. Wenck’s many wetland scientists have vast experience in evaluating restored and managed wetlands. We cooperate with our clients and regulatory agencies to provide honest, accurate data and determine if maintenance and management actions are needed to ensure project success. Maintenance and management plans are not “one size fits all” and we suggest reasonable steps to economically achieve top performance of natural systems.
Our wetland scientists are versed in most recognized assessment tools to determine the functional level of wetland systems. Common methods include the Hydrogeomorphic Method (HGM) and the Minnesota Rapid Assessment Method (MnRAM). Wenck has worked with several regulatory agencies (local, state, federal) in the process of determining functional levels of wetlands using these tools and are familiar with their uses as well as their shortcomings. Functional assessments are commonly part of permit applications for projects, helping determine things such as appropriate wetland setbacks and adequacy of proposed compensatory mitigation.
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