The Boston Conservation Commission protects and preserves open space and other natural areas of the City including wetlands. The Commission administers the Massachusetts Wetland Protection Act (M.G.L c131 s.40), the Massachusetts Rivers Protection Act (HB s. 18.26) and the Conservation Commission Act (HB s. 18.9). The Commission also owns a number of natural, open space properties known as Urban Wilds, and holds several conservation restrictions on various properties within the City.
The Commission is comprised of seven Commissioners who are appointed by the Mayor. The Commission administers the Commonwealth's Wetlands Regulations by determining wetland boundaries; reviewing and permitting projects proposed in or near wetlands and associated buffer zones; and by placing conditions on development projects that affect wetlands. Wetlands are vital to the City's natural environment, providing habitat for fish, shellfish and wildlife. Wetlands also maintain groundwater and water quality, and mitigate the impacts of flooding, storm damage and pollution. The Commission also seeks public access to wetland resource areas where appropriate.
When do I need to file with the Commission for a Permit, and how do I apply?
Any work within a wetland resource area, flood plain, or within 100-feet of a wetland is under the Commission's jurisdiction and subject to Commission review. Project proponents should contact Commission staff at 617-635-3850 to determine the appropriate filing for the proposed work. Information on the Commission's filing requirements is available in the "Wetlands Permit Filing Instructions" link below. All filings are reviewed by the Commission at a public hearing, which are held on the first and third Wednesday of each month. All filing applications must be submitted a minimum of two weeks prior the scheduled hearing to allow for adequate review and public notice. Hearings provide an opportunity for abutters and the public to comment on proposed projects. Permit applications are available at the City of Boston Environment Department, or can be downloaded from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's website.
The next Public Hearing will take place on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 beginning at 6pm.