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DEPT. OF MARINE RESOURCES
DMR Home > Wetlands and Permit Review
Wetlands and Permit Review
For more information, please contact Brian Swan: DMR’s Environmental Coordinator in our Hallowell office, or your local Area Biologist. For information about dredging projects and hearings, visit our Meetings page.
The Permit Review Program is responsible for conducting/coordinating environmental impact reviews for permits and federal consistency determinations for projects in the coastal zone pursuant to Coastal Program core laws. The core laws involve regulated activities such as wetland alteration, pollution discharge and dredging/dredge material disposal, both in organized and unorganized territories. The Program is also responsible for environmental impact reviews on projects seeking public lands leases on publicly owned submerged and/or inter-tidal lands, which could have an effect on Maine's fisheries infrastructure, as well as reviewing and commenting on municipal comprehensive plans which may affect marine, estuarine and riverine resources.
When reviewing wetland alteration permit applications, review guidelines are utilized to standardize the process as much as possible. Guidelines concerning the values of various marine habitats are the basis for making a determination of adverse affect. They include the following:
Soft Bottom Habitat
The loss of soft bottom habitat (mud, sand, sand and gravel) to filling or dredging is harmful to wildlife and estuarine marine fisheries for the following reasons:
1) Soft bottom supports a variety of marine organisms in various positions in the marine food chain from primary producers, such as benthic diatoms, to tertiary consumers, such as shore birds.
Hard Bottom Habitat
The loss of hard bottom habitat (ledge, boulders and cobble) to filling and dredging is harmful to wildlife and estuarine or marine fisheries for the following reasons:
1) Hard bottom supports a variety of marine organisms in various positions in the marine food chain from primary producers, such as seaweed, to tertiary consumers such as shore birds.
The loss of salt marshes to filling or dredging is harmful to wildlife and estuarine or marine fisheries for the following reasons:
1) Salt marshes and associated waters are spawning and nursery grounds for over two-thirds of our commercial and recreational marine fishes.
The laws pertaining to wetland alterations are embodied in three portions of the Natural Resources Protection Act:
1) the Act itself - Title 38 M.R.S.A. Section 480a - 480s,
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) administers the Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA). Visit the NRPA web page for more information.
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