Inland Wetlands Commission
It is the charter of the Inland Wetlands Commission to protect the inland wetlands and watercourses by:
Minimizing disturbance and pollution;
- Preventing damage from erosion, turbidity or siltation;
- Preventing loss of fish and other beneficial aquatic organisms, wildlife and vegetation and the destruction of the natural habitats thereof;
- Deterring and inhibiting the danger of flood and pollution;
- Protecting the quality of wetlands and watercourses for their conservation, economic, aesthetic, recreational and other public and private uses and values;
- Protecting potable fresh water supplies from the dangers of drought, overdraft, pollution, misuse and mismanagement.
Brian Smith-Vice Chair
Bethany Town Hall
40 Peck Road
Bethany, CT 06524-3322
Inland Wetlands Enforcement
Clerk: Monday through Thursday: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM,
Monday evenings from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM.
Enforcement Agent: Mondays evenings from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM or by appointment
When are meetings?
Regular meetings are generally scheduled on the fourth Monday of each month commencing at 7:30 p.m. in the Commission Room. Check with the clerk or IWC Clerk (Toni Marek) for any special meetings or changes and for agenda items.
What are wetlands, and how do I know if they exist on my property?
Wetlands in the State of Connecticut are defined as areas consisting of poorly drained, very poorly drained, alluvial, and floodplain soils. These areas as subject to prolonged ponding, often days,weeks, or months beyond the last storm event. While natural undisturbed wetland areas are easily identified, areas such as lawns are not. To determine whether regulated areas exist on your property, you may look to identify vegetation to determine its optimum field conditions. However, it is always safer to hire a soil scientist for a more accurate determination.
Why are natural wetlands beneficial?
Wetlands provide a variety of ecological, social and aesthetic benefits such as:
Protecting water quality by removing nutrients and chemical contaminants
Controlling flood waters
Serving as essential plant, fish and wildlife habitats
Recharging ground and surface waters
Providing open space and recreational opportunities
Why are Buffers necessary?
Riparian (streamside) and wetland buffers do the following:
Naturally vegetated buffers filter out excessive nutrients and other nonpoint source pollutants in runoff, before they reach streams, lakes, wetlands and embankments.
Moderate runoff and stream temperatures
Control the velocity, quantity and quality of stream flows
Enhance wildlife habitat and diversity
Stabilize stream banks and reduce channel erosion
Provide leaf litter as food for animals at the base of the food chain
Reduce nitrogen from shallow groundwater flows to streams
Reduce potential formation of fish migration barriers
Enhance recreational opportunities
Increase property values
How do wetlands help improve water quality?
Pollutants entering natural wetlands are treated by a variety of physical, chemical and biological processes. The following processes filter out pollutants before they reach other water bodies:
Settling of sediment and other pollutants
Breakdown of pollutants into harmless substances
Why are wetlands being protected and created?
As a means of mitigating wetland losses. It is hoped that these practices can offset the annual loss of natural wetlands due to development activities.
The Inland Wetlands Commission’s Agent has determined that regulated areas appear to exist on my site. What is next?
Once the Commission’s Agent believes a regulated wetland or watercourse (stream, lake, bog, or intermittent water channel) area exists on site, the owner is required to consult a licensed soils scientist to determine the actual regulated boundary on site. A land surveyor will then locate and plot this boundary on a survey plan. This information must accompany any permit application made to this Agency for proposed activities on site. The Wetland Agency will then make a finding on your activity based on this information. All applicants should be advised that due to the high volume of applications, review periods are currently running from 2-3 months. Therefore, you are advised to plan accordingly.