The regulatory definition of a wetland as used by EPA and the USACE in administration of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act is: “Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstance do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas.” (EPA, 40 CFR 230.3 and CE, 33 CFR 328.3)
Wetlands come in all shapes and sizes. These include the more easily recognizable type such as hardwood swamps, saltmarsh, non-tidal freshwater marshes, and bogs, as well as less apparent wetlands, such as poorly drained flats, potholes, and dune swales. Some of these wetlands are dry for much of the year and many are under agricultural or forestry cultivation. They all, however, are characterized by saturated soil occurring at sufficient duration during the growing season to establish anaerobic conditions and the resultant specific biotic community.
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