The Conservation Office assists the Conservation Commission in administering the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (WPA) and the Ipswich Wetlands Protection Bylaw. The WPA empowers the Conservation Commission to determine if a project will adversely impact the following eight interests:
The Ipswich Wetlands Protection Bylaw adds Erosion and Sedimentation Control to the above interests.
The Conservation Commission has jurisdiction over all work within 100’ of a wetland, 150’ of an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC, defined as elevation 10’ in certain coastal areas), and 200’ of a river or perennial stream. Any work that impacts the water, soils or vegetation (other than pruning landscaped areas, routine maintenance of lawn, and a few other minor activities) requires prior approval by the Conservation Commission. This approval is achieved by filing certain forms and information with the Conservation Office, and attending a public meeting with the Commission to present the project and answer questions.
The Conservation Office is available to assist applicants to ensure that all required forms are properly completed and submitted.