What is Protected ?

All construction, grading, vegetation and drainage changes within 100 feet of a wetland, floodplain, beach, coastal bank, pond, intermittent stream, or rocky intertidal shore, and two hundred feet of a perennial stream, must file with the Commission. This is true, not just in Manchester, but throughout the state due to the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act. Under this law, no one may remove, fill, dredge, or alter any wetland, floodplain, bank, land under water, coastal area or land within 100 feet of these areas, without a permit from the Conservation Commission.
  1. Beaches

    The State Wetlands Protection Act protects beaches. Beaches include coastal beaches, barrier beaches, and tidal flats.

  2. Coastal Bank

    The Seaward face or side of any elevated landform, other than a coastal dune, which lies at the landward edge of a coastal beach, land subject to tidal action or other wetland.

  3. Dunes

    Dunes and coastal banks are sometimes confused with one another. Although coastal banks are subject to erosion, they remain relatively stable over time. Dunes are deposited by and move with wind and wave action. Dunes are composed of materials deposited recently (since the last glacier).

  4. Lakes & Ponds

    Learn about how lakes and ponds are conserved within Manchester.

  5. Lands that Flood

    Land that flood include Includes Floodplains, Bordering Land Subject to Flooding, Isolated Land Subject to Flooding and Land Subject to Coastal Storm Flowage.

  6. Land Under the Ocean

    Learn about “Land Under the Ocean” that extends from the mean low-water line seaward to the city or town boundaries.

  7. Rivers, Streams, Brooks, & Drainage Ditches

    Something flows through your property. You may think it is a drainage ditch, yet the Conservation Administrator insists that it is an intermittent stream. Or you have a small body of running water in your back yard-no more than three feet wide-the Conservation Administrator is insisting it is a river. How can one tell?

  8. Vernal Pools

    Vernal Pool means an intermittent pond which meets the criteria, either as certified, or as determined by the Commission within its discretion and in accordance with criteria set forth in "Guidelines for Certification of Vernal Pool Habitat" issued by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Prior Certification is not required.

  9. Wetlands as a Resource Area

    Wetlands come in a variety of forms–swamps, bogs, coastal marshes, wet meadows, estuaries, fresh water marshes. Generally, these are areas where groundwater is at or near the surface, or where surface water collects for a significant part of the growing season. The State’s Wetlands Protection Act protects bordering vegetated wetlands.