Wetlands, Soil Science, and Environmental Studies · Call 203-451-8319

Why the Town Wetlands Map Isn’t Good Enough

The existence of wetlands on a property is something that many owners don’t think much about. In fact, the issue might not even cross their minds until they decide to build on the property and visit the town hall to apply for building permits. It soon becomes a topic of discussion, though, when the town official asks, “Are there wetlands on the property?”.

At this point, you have a couple of options to find out if wetlands exist. For starters, you could use the town wetlands map, if available. It’s free, and you can print off the report by going online in many cases. Sounds easy enough, right?


While these maps are readily available and easy to access, what many people don’t know is they aren’t necessarily accurate. And this inaccurate information could end up costing you time, money and headaches once you start making important decisions. That’s why you need something more substantial before proceeding any further.

Get Accurate Wetlands Information

Under state and local laws, a soil scientist is the only person who can determine the precise boundary of a wetland on a property. However, many people don’t think to use a soil scientist unless they’ve been through the painful consequences of not using one in the past. The result of using the town map can vary, but here are a few common scenarios:

  • The wetland is marked in the wrong place.
  • The map shows no wetland, when in fact there is one.
  • The map shows a wetland, when in fact there is not one present on the property.


Basically, it turns out to be an expensive gamble, where you’re making a decision based on unreliable information. For example, you could purchase a property and discover that it could be unusable because of a wetland. And since the town map didn’t label it correctly and the existing property owner didn’t know about it, and you are left with dealing with the aftermath.

The Value of a Soil Scientist

A monetary investment in an expert might not seem like an attractive option when compared to the free city map available online. However, it’s much less expensive in the long run.

The information provided by the expert is accurate, dependable and gives you the exact details about the wetland, if any, on your property.

Do you have questions? If so, please call us at 203-451-8319, contact us online, or email us at danzer@ctwetlandsconsulting.com. We can assist with a variety of wetland-related questions and provide dependable and accurate information.


About the Author
Steven Danzer has over twenty years’ experience in the fields of Wetland and Soil Science, Ecology, and Natural Resource Evaluation. He has always been intrigued by the simple but also perplexing question about whether the landscape before him is healthy or not. This question has propelled him throughout a professional career which has spanned the deserts and mountains of Arizona and the American Southwest to the rocky hills, wetlands, and coastal plains of the East Coast and New England. Contact him at Danzer@ctwetlandsconsulting.com.