NYS DEC Wetlands

The Department requires additional documentation for any work affecting ground covering on certain coastal and water-sensitive areas. Applicants conducting work in these areas must provide the Department with the additional required items. These required items apply to New Buildings, Horizontal Enlargements, or other work in the following zones:

  • Tidal Wetlands Maps - Tidal wetlands are the areas where the land meets the sea. These areas are periodically flooded by seawater during high or spring tides or, are affected by the cyclic changes in water levels caused by the tidal cycle. Tidal wetlands are classified by the amount of water covering the area at high and low tides and the type of vegetation. 
  • Freshwater Wetlands Maps - Wetlands are a changing natural resource and their boundaries often change over time. Sometimes the boundary changes are minor so the maps do not need to be amended. However, when boundaries change substantially, which can happen over longer periods of time, the maps need to be revised to accurately reflect the new wetland boundary. Wetlands are mapped using a variety of information sources, such as various types and seasons of aerial photography, soil surveys, elevational data, other wetlands inventories, and field verification.
  • Coastal Erosion Hazard Area Maps - Certain sections of New York's coastline are especially vulnerable to coastal erosion through natural actions and through human activities. Coastal erosion hazard areas provide buffering and protection to shorelands from erosion by absorbing the wave energy of open water. Dunes and bluffs are especially effective against storm-induced high water. They are also reservoirs of sand and gravel for beaches and offshore sandbar and shoal formations.
  • Flood Hazard Area Check - Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) is the area that has a 1% or greater chance of flooding in any given year. The SFHA is outlined on FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), which illustrates the extent of flood hazards in a community and the different flood risk zones. FIRMs also depict other information including Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) and/or depths associated with the risk zones and floodways, and common physical features such as roads. Applications shall provide applicable FIRMs with the property location indicated. FIRMs may be found through FEMA’s Map Service Center

These required items include an annotated Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) wetland or coastal erosion map and a DEC permit or jurisdictional determination, if applicable. Applications that have not received Plan Exam Approval (P Status) must submit these required items. Read more about the process the applicant must follow to fulfill this new required item.

For your convenience, the Department has included copies of State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) maps and FEMA Flood Insurance Rate maps. In addition, the Department has updated BISWeb to indicate which properties must comply with this requirement. 

The Department is not responsible for any errors, omissions, scale distortion or other inaccuracies that may be contained within these maps. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding these images, please contact the DEC or FEMA directly.

If your property is flagged but you believe it does not fall within these zones, you may file a change request by submitting the new OP133 Form to the Department.

NOTE: The OP133 allows an applicant to request a review for the removal of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Wetlands flag(s) on the BISWeb Property Profile Overview. The form must be completed by a registered design professional or a licensed land surveyor and must contain a copy of the applicable NYS DEC Wetlands map(s) annotated to clearly identify the subject premises and demonstrate that the entire tax lot is outside any mapped zone or associated adjacent area.

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