Ecology + Design

When Do You Need a Wetland Consultant and What Do They Do?

A large part of our ecological consulting work involves wetlands throughout Fairfield County, Westchester County and Putnam County.  In some settings, we partner with licensed wetland scientists or soil scientists to delineate the wetland area on the property — critical site information that informs the landscape design.

How Do You Know If You Need a Wetland Consultant?


Depending on where you live and local regulations, you may be required to install wetland mitigation plantings to offset development in the wetland area.  

If your survey doesn’t show the wetland area, you may need to hire a wetland consultant to delineate the wetland. The wetland consultant surveys the property’s soil and maps out the soil moisture levels.

With the context of a wetland soil map, we can design a beautiful mitigation planting that matches soil moisture. Plants are defined by a wetland indicator status of one of the following:

  • Obligate Wetland: almost always occur in wetlands
  • Facultative Wetland: usually occurs in wetlands, but sometimes occurs in non-wetlands
  • Facultative: occurs in wetlands and non-wetlands
  • Facultative Upland: usually occurs in non-wetlands, but sometimes occurs in wetlands

These plants are always native, and serve multiple ecosystem services: up taking, filtering, and recirculating water; providing habitat for insects & birds; stabilizing soil and preventing erosion, to name a few.

Erosion-Prone Slopes

For this steep lakeside slope, we collaborated with a wetland consultant and engineer to develop an erosion control plan for the slope that demonstrated that sediment would not be transported into the lake below.

By developing the erosion control plan, we were able to receive a waiver from the town that avoided the wetland permit, a much more cost effective and timely option.

The erosion control devices employed included:

  • Silt fence surrounded site to prevent sediment loading during construction
  • Constructed stone terraces for garden beds and walkways
  • Installed log water bars in walkways to slow down stormwater
  • Installed compostable Filtrexx socks along terrace edges to slow and absorb stormwater
  • Filled beds with engineered soil: 80% mineral, 20% organic matter
  • Planted into jutte netting, allows plants to be held in place as root system develops
  • Plant palette of deeply-rooted native plants
    • Planting timely is very important. Do not leave bare soil! Cover with hay if you cannot complete planting.

Read all about this Lake Peekskill, NY project on our previous blog.

Contact us to discuss a wetland on your property, or any other landscape design questions you may have. Now scheduling consultations and 2022 design & installation work.

Green Jay Landscape Design

Where Design Meets Ecology


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