Conservation Office

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:

  • Protection of Public and Private Water Supply
  • Protection of Groundwater Supply
  • Providing Flood Control
  • Prevention of Storm Damage
  • Prevention of Pollution
  • Protection of Land Containing Shellfish
  • Protection of Wildlife Habitat
  • Protection of Fisheries.

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.

Conservation Commission Meeting Schedule and Filing Deadlines

  1. Conservation Office Temporarily Short-Staffed

    As the Conservation Office seeks a new Conservation and Planning Assistant, you may experience reduced staff availability and office hours, or longer waiting times for responses to inquiries. Read on...
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