Back to Land Use and Development
Planning & Community Development Homepage

Planning & Community Development

Contact Planning Department - Phone: 989-837-3374 Email:


The term wetland is used to describe a variety of wet environments including marshes, bogs, ponds, swamps, prairie potholes, and wet meadows.  As transitional zones between open water and dry land, wetlands are sometimes or always covered by shallow water or have saturated soils.  They are where plants adapted for life in wet conditions usually grow.

How do I Know if there are wetlands on my property?

Wetlands can be identified by the presence of water (standing water or wet soils for at least a year) and the presence of plants that depend on wet conditions.  There are many good reference books available to help determine if you have a wetland.  However if you suspect there is a wetland it may be necessary to contact a professional to assist with that determination.  The Department of Environmental Quality can assist you in this process.

Do I need a permit to develop area that appears to be a wetland?

A permit is needed if wetlands will be disturbed as part of any development or restoration plan.   Examples of work that require a permit include:

  • Filling or placing material in a wetlands

  • Dredging or removing soil from a wetland

  • Draining water from a wetland

  • Constructing or maintaining a use or development in a wetland

Are all wetlands covered?

No. Public Act 451 of the State of Michigan regulates wetlands of any size that are “contiguous” to another waterbody or that are greater than five acres.

Who do I contact for more information on wetlands?

For more information about wetlands in our area, contact:

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Land and Water Management Division
Saginaw Bay District Office
401 Ketchum, Ste. B
Bay City, MI 48708