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New Jersey Wetlands Law

Wetlands, such as marshes, swamps and bogs, are vital to our socioeconomic health. According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, or NJDEP, the following contributions are made to our environmental well being by wetlands:

  • Protect drinking water by filtering out chemicals, pollutants, and sediments
  • Soak up runoff from heavy rains and snow melts for natural flood control
  • Release stored flood waters during droughts
  • Provide a critical habitat for fish and wildlife
  • Offer open space for recreation and tourism

Over the previous two centuries, wetlands were considered wastelands that should be drained and filled in to make them suitable for farming and commercial development. Dredge and fill activities, as well as pollution and natural disasters, led to the loss of over 117 million acres of wetlands in the U.S. With over 54-percent of our national wetlands gone, we continue to lose an additional 200,000 acres of wetlands every year.

Laws that provide for New Jersey Wetlands regulation

To stem the tide of wetlands destruction, there are several New Jersey wetlands laws as well as other New Jersey laws protecting our precious water resources including the following:

  • The New Jersey Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act (N.J.S.A. 13:9B)
  • Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA)
  • Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act of 2004
  • The Waterfront Development Law (N.J.S.A. 12:5-3)
  • Flood Hazard Area Control Act (N.J.A.C. 7:13)
  • The Wetlands Act of 1970 (N.J.S.A. 13:9A)
  • The Tidelands Act (N.J.S.A. 12:3)

Understanding wetlands laws in New Jersey

According to the NJDEP, the New Jersey Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act requires the agency to regulate the following kinds of activities around wetlands:

  • Dredging, excavation and removal of soil
  • Drainage or disturbance of the water level
  • Filling or discharge of any materials
  • Driving of pilings
  • Cutting of vegetation
  • Repair of existing structures and septic systems
  • Adding roads, driveways and docks

A wealth of information about how to obtain general permits and New Jersey freshwater wetlands maps can be found at

At the law firm of Lieberman & Blecher, P.C., our environmental lawyers have a thorough understanding of wetlands regulation in New Jersey. Our environmental attorneys represent individuals, businesses and municipalities in state and federal courts in all types of environmental matters including the NJ wetlands, Pinelands, and environmental contamination. We often travel to sites in question to check them out for ourselves, and we never shy away from tough fights against big corporations.

Consult us about wetlands law in New Jersey

Whether you are buying a Brownsfield site, struggling with environmental contamination, or considering litigation, we can help.

Our website details our extensive track record fighting and winning toxic contamination lawsuits. To protect your rights and discuss your case, call us today at (732) 355-1311 or contact us online.