General FAQ's

● What is a wetland?

○ The wetlands found in East Longmeadow are inland wetlands which are areas where water is at or just below the surface of the ground, such as marshes, wet meadows, bogs, and swamps.

○ Please note: wetlands can dry up during some parts of the year. Just because there is not currently water in the wetlands does not mean they are no longer protected under the Wetlands Protection Act

● Why are wetlands important?

○ It is important to preserve wetlands because they can help clean drinking water supplies, prevent flooding and storm damage during storm events, and support a huge variety of wildlife

○ Since the colonization of MA 1⁄3 of the state’s wetlands have been destroyed making it even more important to protect the remaining wetlands.

● How can I find out if I live near a wetland?

○ Visit the Town's GIS maps and click on the Environment Data layer

○ For greater accuracy, consider obtaining the services of a wetlands surveyor to flag the wetlands boundary

Where can I find wetlands rules and regulations?

310 CMR: 10.00 Wetlands Protection Act

What is a buffer zone?

○ A buffer zone is the area of land that extends 100-feet outward from the outer boundary of the resource area. The buffer zone is protected under the MA Wetlands Protection Act (M.G.L. 131,Section 40) and its Regulations (310 CMR 10.00)

What activities are prohibited in the buffer zone?

○ Any activity that alters the wetland or surrounding buffer zone must be approved by the Conservation Commission. These activities can include but are not limited to: draining, dumping, landscaping and construction, and vegetation clearing.

I live within the buffer zone and want to do some work to my property, how do I get permission?

○ If you are unsure whether your proposed work site is in a resource area or if your work will alter a resource area, first apply for a Request for Determination of Applicability (RDA). If the Commission determines through your RDA that the work will alter a resource area you must then file a Notice of Intent (NOI) with detailed explanations regarding the project plans, wetlands, buffer zone, and precautionary measures used to protect them. Following a hearing of the Conservation Commission, coupled with an on site visit, the Commission will issue an Order of Conditions either approving or denying your request.

○ RDA’s should be filed at least two weeks prior to the targeted meeting date in order to ensure an appearance on the Commission’s agenda.

Note: all paperwork must be submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection office in Springfield, MA as well as to the Commission

● What can I do on my property to help maintain the health of the wetlands?

○ There are many things you can personally do to protect local wetlands, including but not limited to:

■ Removing trash from wetland resource areas

■ Avoid or minimize the use of de-icing salts, fertilizers, or pesticides near wetlands or drainage systems

■ Apply proper erosion control measures to surrounding areas

● Which areas of the town are under the jurisdiction of the Commission?

○ The following areas are subject to protection under the M.G.L. c. 131 Section 40:

■ (a) any bank, freshwater wetland, coastal wetland, beach, dune, flat, marsh or swamp bordering on the ocean, any estuary, creek, river, stream, pond or lake

■ (b) any land under any of the water bodies listed above, ( C) land subject to tidal actions, (d) land subject to coastal storm flowage, (e) land subject to flooding, (f) riverfront areas.

■ If you are unsure if your property is under jurisdiction, please contact the Conservation Commission.