Boston Conservation Commission
The Conservation Commission enhances the quality of life in Boston by protecting water and land resources.
COVID-19 UPDATE: The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has released a guidance document for any new applications being submitted. They also have a frequently asked questions sheet for other questions.
Protecting and restoring our natural environment and ecosystems is central to our mission. We know when people have clean parks and water, they are healthier and happier.
Need to know
Boston recently passed a local wetlands ordinance. Please refer to our filing section below, for new submission requirements and further information.
Members of the public may share public comments during the hearing. The Conservation Commission will also accept written testimony for agenda items via email at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the hearing. Written testimony should be submitted by 3:30 p.m. on the day of a 6 p.m. hearing.
Have questions? Contact us:Boston Conservation Commission
1 CITY HALL SQUARE, ROOM 709
BOSTON, MA 02201
Public hearing information
The Wetlands Protection Ordinance gives the City greater authority to protect its wetlands. Our wetlands are crucial to controlling flooding and protecting Boston's neighborhoods and green spaces. Developing regulations is the first step that will help Boston preserve its natural areas for years to come.
We've already implemented administrative and procedural regulations for the Boston Wetlands Ordinance. We have also created a list of common questions and answers about the ordinance.
About our work
Wetlands are vital to the City's natural environment. They provide a habitat for fish, shellfish, and wildlife. Wetlands maintain groundwater and water quality. They also mitigate the impacts of flooding, storm damage, and pollution. We also seek public access to wetland resource areas where it's appropriate. In protecting Boston’s wetlands, the Conservation Commission administers the:
- Massachusetts Wetland Protection Act,
- Massachusetts Rivers Protection Act, and
- Boston Wetlands Ordinance
Anything that falls within a flood plain can affect wetland health. That's why we review projects that fall within them. A flood plain is the area of land inundated during floods.
The commission also works to foster a connection between the people of Boston and the City’s natural areas. We do this through environmental education. We also maintain natural, open-space properties, known as Urban Wilds, that are open to the public.
Filing with the CommissionFiling with the Commission
Before checking information on filing with the commission, you can view related legislation and regulations:
Not sure if you need a wetlands permit? Here are the steps to submit a Request for Determination of Applicability.
Does your project require a wetlands permit? Follow these steps to submit a Notice of Intent to obtain a permit.
Does your project impact a wetland covered by the Ordinance? Make sure to complete our local forms!
You must also tell abutting property owners within 300 feet of your property line about the project.
Need some help with your filing? Take a look at our filing guide for help on what you need to submit.
Is your application complete? Use this checklist to make sure nothing is missing.
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Key StakeholdersKey Stakeholders
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