The Conservation Commission regulates areas subject to protection under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, 310 10. The legislature has determined that the regulation of wetlands is essential to the welfare of the Commonwealth citizens because of the important ecological function of these habitats. Wetlands provide natural buffers against pollutants, thereby protecting our water supplies.
They form natural storage areas for floodwaters that might otherwise be diverted to developed areas. Wetland habitats may also provide important breeding areas for a variety of commercially and biologically important aquatic or semi-aquatic species.
Requesting a Determination
Any person who wishes to know whether or not a parcel of land or project is subject to the provisions of the Act may request a Determination of Applicability from the Conservation Commission. Anyone who proposes to do work that will remove, fill, dredge, or alter an area subject to protection under the Act must file a Notice of Intent with the Conservation Commission.
Agricultural Preservation Restrictions
The Office of Planning and Community Development has assisted local farmers in acquiring Agricultural Preservation Restrictions (APR) preserving over 280 acres of farmland. The APR Program allows farmers to sell the development rights for his/her property thus resulting in its permanent protection.